Richardson maintains Pool lead
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The result keeps The Pool two points clear over Rushden at the summit of the table, with Bury well back in third following their goalless home draw against Boston United.
Former Sheffield Wednesday striker Ritchie Humphreys put Hartlepool ahead, though the lead did not last long when club captain Michael Barron put the ball into his own net.
With half-time approaching Marcus Richardson (pictured) restored the home side's lead, and completed the win late on with his second of the game.
Rushden endured an easier ride against Cambridge at home with a late Paul Hall brace putting the finishing touches on a 4-1 home win.
Goals from Stuart Gray and David Bell put the high-flyers two up on the hour mark, before Hall's late intervention with Paul Wanless scoring a late consolation for the visitors.
At the foot of the table Exeter's hopes of avoiding the drop were strengthened following their solitary 1-0 home win over fellow-strugglers Carlisle thanks to a goal from on loan Scott Partridge.
Bristol Rovers also boosted their prospects with a late come-from-behind victory over Scunthorpe at the Memorial Ground.
The visitors went ahead on the hour mark through Martin Carruthers, however two goals in the last five minutes from Vitaly Astafjevs and Wayne Carlisle capped an unlikely win.
To complete Scunthorpe's misery, Wayne Graves was dismissed late on for receiving his second yellow card.
Swansea remain bottom following 3-1 defeat to financially-threatened York at Bootham Crescent.
Peter Duffield fired the home side ahead on nine minutes from the penalty spot, however an own goal from Jonathan Park levelled matters minutes later.
The Minstermen were not to be denied and re-took the lead before the break when Duffield netted 15th of the season, before on loan striker Michael Reddy completed the scoring with a late third.
Bournemouth's hopes of reaching a play-off place were hindered by their 2-2 home draw against Macclesfield, although they will feel pleased with a point.
The visitors raced into a two-goal lead thanks to goals from Danny Whitaker and Chris, however second half strikes from Wade Elliott and James Hayter rescued a point.
Southend secured all three points at home to Rochdale following a last-gasp win thanks to a Tesfaye Bramble goal.
Kidderminster took an early lead against Darlington through Bo Henriksen, however a second half brace from Matthew Clarke, the first from the spot, ensured the visitors left with nothing from Feethams.
Hull City's recent run of form ended following a 2-0 away defeat to Leyton Orient.
First half goals from Lee Thorpe and Jabo Ibehre were enough to see off Peter Taylor's men, who missed the chance to move into seventh in the table.
Richard Butcher thought he had earned Lincoln a maximum haul against Shrewsbury, however Steve Jagielka's second half goals earned The Shrews a share of the spoils.
High-flying Torquay took an early lead against Wrexham at the Racecourse Ground, though it was not enough for a point as Andrew Morrell levelled on 21 minutes and Carlos Edwards struck the winner late on.
Division Three results:
Bournemouth 2 Macclesfield 2
Bristol Rovers 2 Scunthorpe 1
Bury 0 Boston 0
Darlington 2 Kidderminster 1
Exeter 1 Carlisle 0
Hartlepool 3 Oxford 1
Leyton Orient 2 Hull 0
Lincoln 1 Shrewsbury 1
Rushden 4 Cambridge 1
Southend 1 Rochdale 0
Wrexham 2 Torquay 1
York 3 Swansea 1
Click here for Third Division league table