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Hartlepool United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
HARTLEPOOL United were denied only a second victory at the season as Doncaster nabbed an 88th minute leveller at Victoria Park.
Leading thanks to Neil Austin’s spot kick, Pools were left deflated when Rob Jones knocked in a free-kick at the far post.
Doncaster started well, but without Scott Flinders being overly tested.
Pools hit the post when James Poole fired low at goal from distance with his first touch after replacing Evan Horwood.
Poole then forced a save from keeper Gary Woods on 56 minutes – when Pools were well on top – with a curling shot from distance and, from the corner, Howard headed over.
They took the lead when Howard was pulled back in the area by two visiting defenders and Neil Austin slotted in from the spot.
Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders was hit out at referee Graham Scott for the decision to award the spot kick.
Pools should have got a second when Jon Franks was in on goal, but hesitated and allowed keeper Woods to smoother.
And Pools paid the price when, from a deep free-kick, Rob Jones popped up at the far post to turn in from close range.
Evan Horwood (heel) and Charlie Wyke (cut ankle) are both likely to miss Tuesday’s trip to Orient with injuries.
HARTLEPOOL: Flinders; Austin, Baldwin, Hartley, Holden; Franks, Sweeney, Murray, Horwood (Horwood 35); Noble (Wyke 58 (Humphreys 81) ), Howard. Subs: McHugh (gk), Humphreys, Collins, Walton, Richards.
DONCASTER: Woods; Quinn, Martis (Husband 81), Jones, Spurr; Cotterill, Syers, Harper, Bennett; Paynter (Ball 65), Brown (Keegan 85).. Subs: Woods, Blake, Woods, Sullivan (gk).