League One play-off hopefuls Walsall extended their unbeaten run to 10 games, but failed to claim a victory against struggling Hartlepool United.

Saddlers goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who was making his debut after signing on loan from Manchester United, produced a fine stop from Antony Sweeney's header.

Walsall had chances, but Craig Westcarr headed wide and Sam Mantom and Jamie Paterson had efforts saved.

The draw lifted the visitors to eighth, three points off a play-off place.

Walsall, missing in-form striker Will Grigg, who had scored eight times in his last five matches, lacked a cutting edge at a windy Victoria Park.

Having been called up to the Northern Ireland squad, Grigg had to withdraw because of a hamstring injury, but the Saddlers hope he will be fit for the Good Friday trip to Yeovil.

Pools drop to the bottom of League One, having now failed to score in six matches.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"They are fighting for their lives, so we always knew it was going to be tough coming here. But it was the conditions that won in the end. The wind certainly played a big part.

"It was a scrappy affair. We didn't make the right decisions at times and our final ball was lacking. It was one of those days, but it's another point to our tally and away from home too.

"To be 10 games undefeated in this league is no mean feat. And, with six games to go, and 18 points up for grabs, we'll keep battling on."

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (5)

Hartlepool

  • 01 Flinders
  • 02 Austin
  • 05 Collins
  • 06 Horwood
  • 29 Hartley
  • 03 Humphreys
  • 07 Franks (James - 71' )
  • 08 Walton
  • 11 Monkhouse
  • 15 Sweeney
  • 39 Howard (Wyke - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 31 McHugh
  • 22 Holden
  • 14 Luscombe
  • 17 Rutherford
  • 28 Hawkins
  • 33 James
  • 36 Wyke

Walsall

  • 28 Johnstone
  • 04 Butler
  • 22 Downing
  • 25 J Chambers (Purkiss - 72' )
  • 26 Taylor
  • 06 Featherstone (Hemmings - 65' )
  • 07 A Chambers
  • 27 Mantom
  • 10 Paterson
  • 12 Brandy
  • 29 Westcarr Booked (Bowerman - 79' )

Substitutes

  • 31 Roberts
  • 05 Holden
  • 14 Purkiss
  • 20 Benning
  • 11 Hemmings
  • 24 Baxendale
  • 17 Bowerman
Ref: Madley
Att: 3,065

Match Stats

Shots

7 12

On target

3 5

Corners

4 2

Fouls

8 4

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:11 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +1:29

Adam Chambers fouled by Simon Walton, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Taylor takes the free kick.

90:00 +0:31

Sam Mantom takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the crossbar.

87:54

A cross is delivered by Ben Purkiss.

87:02

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ritchie Humphreys by Febian Brandy. Evan Horwood takes the direct free kick.

84:15

George Bowerman has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide right of the goal.

83:41

Febian Brandy crosses the ball.

82:31

Jamie Paterson produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Ritchie Humphreys.

81:46

Simon Walton fouled by Sam Mantom, the ref awards a free kick. Neil Austin restarts play with the free kick.

80:46

Jamie Paterson is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Free kick taken by Scott Flinders.

80:03

The ball is swung over by Andy Monkhouse, Andy Butler manages to make a clearance.

78:22 Substitution

Substitution Charlie Wyke on for Steve Howard.

78:03 Substitution

Substitution (Walsall) makes a substitution, with George Bowerman coming on for Craig Westcarr.

76:24

Neil Austin produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the target.

74:04

Corner taken by Evan Horwood from the right by-line, Headed effort from the edge of the area by Antony Sweeney goes wide of the right-hand upright.

72:16

The official flags Craig Westcarr offside. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Collins.

71:04 Substitution

Substitution Ben Purkiss replaces James Chambers.

70:41 Substitution

Substitution Luke James replaces Jonathan Franks.

68:33

Jonathan Franks is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Johnstone.

67:51

Effort from inside the area by Jamie Paterson misses to the left of the target.

66:45

Corner taken by Ashley Hemmings from the left by-line, Peter Hartley makes a clearance.

66:22

Shot by Ashley Hemmings from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.

64:56 Substitution

Substitution Nicky Featherstone leaves the field to be replaced by Ashley Hemmings.

64:47

Jonathan Franks produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes wide left of the goal.

64:11

Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood, Andy Butler manages to make a clearance.

64:02

Evan Horwood sends in a cross, save made by Sam Johnstone.

61:43

Nicky Featherstone takes a shot. Blocked by Peter Hartley.

60:39

Ritchie Humphreys is penalised for a handball. Andy Butler takes the free kick.

59:34

The assistant referee signals for offside against Andy Monkhouse. Andy Butler takes the free kick.

57:31

The ball is delivered by Evan Horwood, clearance made by Paul Downing.

54:19

Jonathan Franks produces a cross, clearance by James Chambers.

53:17

Ritchie Humphreys delivers the ball, save made by Sam Johnstone.

48:35

Adam Chambers fouled by Antony Sweeney, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Taylor delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left wing, clearance made by Neil Austin.

46:48

The ball is delivered by Sam Mantom.

45:22

Jonathan Franks is ruled offside. Free kick taken by Sam Johnstone.

45:01

The second half begins.

45:00 +1:16 Half time

Half Time It is the end of the first-half.

45:00 +0:46

Shot by Jamie Paterson. Peter Hartley gets a block in.

42:04

Craig Westcarr produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

39:31

Sam Mantom has an effort at goal. Scott Flinders makes a save.

37:59

Free kick taken by Scott Flinders.

37:59 Booking

Booking Craig Westcarr is shown a yellow card for dissent.

37:52

Craig Westcarr is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

35:43

Effort from 20 yards by Jamie Paterson. Save by Scott Flinders.

34:49

Jamie Paterson fouled by Neil Austin, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Andy Taylor.

34:39

Andy Taylor sends in a cross, Peter Hartley makes a clearance.

31:17

Evan Horwood is caught offside. Sam Johnstone restarts play with the free kick.

29:07

Febian Brandy fouled by Andy Monkhouse, the ref awards a free kick. Centre by Andy Taylor, Headed effort from inside the area by Craig Westcarr misses to the right of the goal.

26:43

Free kick awarded for a foul by Evan Horwood on Febian Brandy. Direct free kick taken by Sam Johnstone.

26:12

A cross is delivered by Neil Austin, Antony Sweeney takes a shot. Sam Johnstone makes a brilliant save.

25:16

Craig Westcarr is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Scott Flinders.

24:20

Unfair challenge on Craig Westcarr by Peter Hartley results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Andy Taylor.

22:54

The ball is crossed by Jonathan Franks.

22:01

The ball is crossed by Evan Horwood, Steve Howard takes a shot. Save by Sam Johnstone.

21:25

The ball is sent over by Jonathan Franks, clearance by Andy Taylor.

20:02

Andy Monkhouse sends in a cross, save by Sam Johnstone.

18:35

Simon Walton produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

18:23

Jonathan Franks crosses the ball, clearance by Andy Butler.

18:04

The ball is sent over by Jonathan Franks, Andy Butler manages to make a clearance.

17:01

Corner taken left-footed by Evan Horwood.

16:48

The ball is sent over by Jonathan Franks, Andy Taylor makes a clearance.

14:11

Febian Brandy takes a shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Sam Collins.

12:24

Craig Westcarr gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Neil Austin. Scott Flinders takes the free kick.

11:57

Steve Howard has an effort at goal. Paul Downing gets a block in.

11:14

Foul by Adam Chambers on Antony Sweeney, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Evan Horwood.

10:52

Andy Monkhouse challenges Febian Brandy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by James Chambers.

9:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Febian Brandy by Andy Monkhouse. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Jamie Paterson from right channel, clearance by Ritchie Humphreys.

7:55

Andy Taylor takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Scott Flinders makes a save.

7:46

Sam Mantom sends in a cross, Sam Collins makes a clearance.

4:02

Outswinging corner taken by Evan Horwood, save made by Sam Johnstone.

3:53

A cross is delivered by Evan Horwood, blocked by Sam Mantom.

1:08

The referee blows for offside against Evan Horwood. Indirect free kick taken by Sam Johnstone.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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