SALFORD City fought back from a goal down to earn an FA Cup second-round replay against League Two Hartlepool United and ensured they are in the hat for the third round after an end-to-end 1-1 at a sell-out Moor Lane.
The Evo-Stik Premier side were playing in the second round proper for the first time in the club’s history but couldn’t replicate the winning performance they produced against Notts County in the first round.
With 52 places separating the two sides at kick-off, it was the Football League club that took the lead, despite a nervous start, after Rhys Oates raced clear before winning himself a penalty after he was brought down by last man Andy Dawson.
The former Stockport County man then stepped up to take the spot-kick himself and made no mistake, despite Salford keeper Jay Lynch diving the right way, to make it 1-0.
After dominating the early exchanges, Salford deservedly equalised as Scott Burton’s deep free-kick was headed back across goal by Dawson, allowing Stephen O’Halloran to poke home from close range.
Hartlepool substitute Rakish Bingham had the best chance of the second half as he headed over from three yards out after captain Carl Magnay headed back across goal following a well worked, back post free-kick.
Lewis Hardcastle went close for the hosts moments later after the hero from the first round, Richie Allen, stabbed across the box to find him unmarked, however he could only produce a tame effort that was easily saved by goalkeeper Trevor Carson.
As the game petered out for most of the second half, the crowd tried to lift the non-league men and first Chris Lynch then James Poole nearly became the heroes as they forced saves out of Carson with long range efforts.
Both sets of managers will have one eye on Monday night’s third round draw to see what shall await the victors of the replay at Victoria Park.
By: Nathan Salt at Moor Lane