THE points were shared, as a strong reserve team welcomed Hartlepool United in the Final third Development League.
In addition to a number of first team players, Town welcomed a trialist into the team who displayed his potential on the right wing making some strong, direct runs at the Hartlepool back line.
In the opening 20 minutes of the game, chances were few and far between, with Clifton & Town's trialist having the only attempts on goal for the home side.
The deadline was finally broken in the 41st minute. Straker continued to trouble his counterparts on the left wing with some great driving runs, who then found Pittman in space who placed the ball into the far bottom corner of the net. Town's confidence then began to show, as some slick one touch passing between Venney & Stewart created some great space, with Stewart's strike clearing the bar.
For the second half, Town made a handful of changes, with Marcus Marshall, Joe Crowther & Max Wright replaced Shaun Pearson, Jordan Stewart & Jon Paul Pittman. Despite the changes, Town continued their pressure on the ball and maintained possession well. The introduction of Marshall & Wright caused significant problems for the Hartlepool full backs, as pace & directness proved difficult to deal with.
With 30 minutes left to play, Hartlepool began to increase the pressure, as long balls continued to be hit up to the visiting strikers. Town goalkeeper, Andy Warrington was called into action a number of times and pulled off some great saves to maintain Town's lead. Harlepool's pressure paid off in the 78th minute, as Skidmore out-jumped his defender and headed the ball past Warrington.
The final 10 minutes saw Town persistently attack the Hartlepool defensive line, with Max Wright again at the forefront of a lot of the play down the left hand side. The young winger was brought down on the edge of the box in the closing seconds, with the resulting free-kick being cleared out of danger.
At the full time whistle, the score finished 1-1.
The reserves will be in action on Wednesday 20th April at Blundell Park vs. Scunthorpe United, with a 2pm kick off.