Hartlepool United 0-0 Yeovil Town: Lack of cutting edge costs Glovers
An uncharacteristic lack of cutting edge in the final third condemned Yeovil Town to their first goal-less draw in almost a year at Hartlepool United.
The Glovers huffed and puffed on a boggy Victoria Park pitch, failing to see off poor hosts in their quest for promotion from npower League One.
They had just themselves to blame for their only stalemate since the end of March 2012, with disappointing deliveries undermining their already patchy attacking game.
Visiting manager Gary Johnson said: "I don't enjoy nil-nils, I always set out my stall to win the game and when a draw pops up every now and again I am not going to be happy going home on the bus.
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"I thought we created more opportunities than them but they weren't easy ones. All over the pitch we were fine apart from the final third where we couldn't find that killer pass that was going to give our striker that chance."
Johnson named an unchanged match day squad to the one that beat Tranmere Rovers seven days earlier, with former Chelsea youngster Ben Gordon watching from the stands ahead of signing on Monday.
A disastrous defensive start could have seen Yeovil trailing with just five minutes on the clock as twice Byron Webster's hesitance went unpunished.
After dwelling on the ball near the touch line and forcing Marek Stech to slice a poor return behind for a corner, the centre half failed to pass clear when he could have launched upfield.
A Hartlepool shot hit Dan Burn's arm but referee Dave Webb waved away penalty calls and the Glovers eventually cleared.
Two minutes later former Yeovil loanee Jonathan Franks presented possession to Ed Upson, Pools could not clear and Luke Ayling dragged wide.
Sam Foley fell awkwardly when challenging a header with Neil Austin on 12 minutes and, holding his hip, had to be replaced by Gavin Williams after trying to run off the injury.
On 31 minutes a decisive Hartlepool move stretched Yeovil and Evan Horwood was given too much space to cross on the left.
His centre was hacked across goal and Austin was convinced against a shot at the far post by Stech's imposing frame. Ayling blocked from the subsequent cross and Yeovil cleared.
Paddy Madden went closest for the visitors on 36 minutes, bursting onto a loose ball and hammering against the crossbar from an angle. Williams' follow-up was weak.
Four minutes later James Hayter did brilliantly to beat Sam Collins and win Ayling's direct pass, nodding back to Madden who was hurried into firing over from 20 yards.
As the period entered two minutes of added time, Ritchie Humphreys galloped on to a free ball, lashing inches wide from distance.
Keeper Scott Flinders had to be at his best to push away Ayling's long throw that was helped through a sticky six-yard area by Madden on the hour mark, only to be let off when fumbling the subsequent corner when Yeovil failed to pounce.
Williams surged through the heart of midfield when the visitors struck on the counterattack after 75 minutes, laying off for Hayter only to tamely head the return into the mud and at Flinders.
Nine minutes before time the Welshman found Madden with a neat flick but again the stopper was comfortably behind the shot.
Three minutes later and just seconds after the introduction of Antony Sweeney, a simple diagonal pass sent the replacement clean through but Stech stayed big and saved.
On 85 minutes substitute Lewis Young gave Hartlepool an indication of his pace, accelerating down the right and crossing. Flinders spilled debutant Wes Fletcher's effort and Humphreys did enough to send Madden off target in prime position.
The former Northampton winger was the architect of Yeovil's final chance deep into time added on, his deflected cross headed goal-wards by Upson.
Yet again, Flinders made a meal of the save, the ball squirming away from him before Pools scrambled clear.
Hartlepool United (4-3-3) - Flinders; Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood; Humphreys, Walton, Luscombe (Monkhouse, 65); Poole (Howard, 65), Wyke, Franks (Sweeney, 83). Unused subs: McHugh, Rutherford, Holden, James.
Bookings: Monkhouse (foul), Walton (foul).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2) - Stech; Ayling, Webster, Burn, McAllister; Dawson (Young, 83), Upson, Edwards, Foley (Williams, 17); Madden, Hayter (Fletcher, 78). Unused subs: Hinds, Blizzard, Stewart, Ralph.
Ref: David Webb (Lancashire).
HARTLEPOOL UNITED 0-0 YEOVIL TOWN - IN PICTURES