Richmond Town settle for a point against Hartlepool FC

Joe Shields in action.

The crowd at Earls Orchard’s first game of the new year witnessed a terrific game as Richmond Town took on Hartlepool FC.

Before kick off both teams and supporters observed a minutes silence for former Richmond Town chairman and manager Oliver Blease who passed away in December.

There was no signs of too much Christmas pudding been enjoyed since Town’s the last fixture on December 15, with the pace in Richmond’s team evident from the whistle.

Man of the match Joe Shield who caused the visitors problems throughout was the first to work Hartlepool keeper Ellliot Coils, who should really have dealt with the youngsters shot.

Both teams were getting forward and creating chances; Richmond’s back line were being made to work hard before Town took a twenty fourth minute lead.

Mark Walker’s clearance was controlled brilliantly by Shields before his cross picked out Ben Darville who diverted the ball into the net.

Minutes later from the same attack both Shields and Darville were fortunate not to be flagged offside with both guilty of miss of the season contenders.

With 40 minutes played Richmond went two up when Chris Pattison finished another good move.

Tom Carneige-Brown’s superb pass picked out Darville who this time turned provider.

Just before the break Walker saved from Kieran Campbell, the last action of a very good first half

Town’s keeper was called upon once more early in the second half as the visitors went looking for a way back into the game, and there efforts were rewarded in the 67th minute when Darville fouled inside the box.

Sam Cook converted the resulting penalty.

Richmond went close to regaining a two goal lead from another Walker clearance which was flicked on by the head of Shields for Darville to chase.

As Coils came charging out of his area, Richmond’s top scorer flicked the ball over him but it went agonisingly wide of the post.

At the other end, Simon Pinkney was in the right place to scramble away another Hartlepool attempt on goal.

Hartlepool levelled the scores with ten minutes left to play.

Lee Jones getting the final touch after Walker failed to deal with Campbell’s cross after which both teams went looking for a winner but were made to settle for a point each.