Chris Woods reports from Victoria Park.
Aldershot Town picked up their first away point of the season in a spirited performance from the side at Victoria Park. Matt McClure scored for the Shots after Niko Muir gave Hartlepool a first half lead.
Shots boss Gary Waddock made two changes to the side that lost to Maidstone United on Tuesday night, with Karleigh Osborne and Dominic Bernard making way for Josh Lelan and debutant Marvin McCoy. Jake Cole was given the armband in goal with Scott Rendell returning, albeit on the subs bench.
In an even first half it was the Shots who had the first chance of the game, counter-attacking with Adam McDonnell and Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong with the latter squaring to Luke Wanadio in the box but the right winger shot over the bar.
Pools captain Andrew Davies then headed over from a corner before Michael Woods and Muir linked up well inside the box with Woods played through on goal by Muir, but Josh Lelan did enough to put the midfielder off and Cole collected.
That was the first warning from the Pools pair as they combined to give Hartlepool the lead on 32 minutes. Woods played a bouncing ball into the box to Muir and the striker hit an exquisite, delicate lob over Cole and the ball crept into the far top corner.
Shots almost equalised on half time when Lelan picked out McClure with an excellent through ball but Scott Loach rushed out quickly to thwart the ball at McClure’s feet.
The second half was a far more entertaining affair with the Shots dominating for the majority of it. McDonnell pulled out two good stops from Loach, forcing him to tip wide two long-range swerving efforts.
Hartlepool threatened with Luke James’ effort going straight into the palms of Cole. From that the Shots broke with McDonnell playing in McClure who let the ball roll past him before unleashing an unstoppable swerving effort past Loach and into the far top corner.
The visitors were buoyed by the equaliser and almost went ahead when George Fowler got his head on the end of a deep crossing free-kick by Regan Booty but he headed into the side netting.
A combination of the Shots three substitutes almost gave the Shots an injury time winner. Luke Howell crossed deep for Rendell who nodded back across goal to Jake Gallagher who struck the ball with an overhead kick, Loach was beaten but the ball smashed off the crossbar and bounced back off the goal line.
Another positive performance for the Shots to build on as we host FC Halifax Town at the EBB Stadium on Saturday, 3PM Kick Off.