Pool held by ten-man Quakers
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mike Newell's troops boast a commanding lead at the head of affairs but threw away the points against the ten-man Quakers.
Barry Conlon put the hosts ahead on 36 minutes but early second half goals from Adam Boyd and Darrell Clarke put Hartlepool in command.
Ryan Valentine was then sent off for a second bookable offence for the hosts, who snatched a point on the hour mark through Craig Liddle.
Rushden & Diamonds closed the gap to 12 points with a 2-1 home win over cash-strapped York City.
Stuart Wardley put Rushden ahead on the stroke of half-time, and a Chris Brass own goal with 15 minutes remaining ensured York's seven-game unbeaten run ground to a halt despite Lee Bullock's injury-time goal.
Bournemouth cling onto the third promotion spot despite slipping to defeat at Bury, who move level on points with The Cherries.
Warren Feeney's 12th minute goal put the South Coast club in front but veteran defender Steve Redmond levelled matters after the half-hour.
With the match heading for a stalemate, Colin Cramb popped up six minutes from time to give Bury the three points.
Wrexham dropped out of the play-off zone after being unable to break down Swansea City's defence at Vetch Field.
Oxford United climb to fifth in the table after holding on for a 2-1 win over in-form Boston United.
Andy Crosby and Bobby Ford's first Oxford goal since his return to the club put the hosts in command, but Stuart Douglas set up a tense finish with a 69th minute strike for The Pilgrims.
Scunthorpe United hauled themselves into the play-off places with a 3-1 triumph at promotion rivals Kidderminster.
Ageing winger Peter Beagrie broke the deadlock on 32 minutes and Martin Carruthers notched a second a minute later.
Bo Henriksen's early second half goal reduced the arrears before Beagrie lashed home from the penalty spot on 73 minutes.
Jo Osei-Kuffour's fourth minute goal was sufficient to separate the teams at the Abbey Stadium as Torquay claimed the spoils against Cambridge United.
Hull City rediscovered their goalscoring touch to devastating effect with a 5-1 mauling of Carlisle United.
On-loan striker Jonathan Walters marked his Tigers debut with a brace and was matched in the scoring stakes by Stuart Elliott, while Jamie Forrester was also on target. Craig Farrell nicked a last minute consolation for the hosts.
The battle of the basement boys was a dour tussle at St James' Park as neither Exeter City nor Bristol Rovers could find a way to breach each other's defence.
Macclesfield Town ended a six-game run without a win to boost their survival hopes with a 2-0 success at home to Southend United.
David Eaton scored on 69 minutes for The Silkmen and the points were made safe by Kyle Lightbourne's 80th minute goal.
Lincoln City stretched their unbeaten run to five games after Ben Futcher bagged an 88th minute equaliser after Matthew Brazier had earlier put Leyton Orient in front.
Shrewsbury Town edged nearer to safety with a 3-1 win at home to Rochdale. Stephen Jagielka helped himself to a first half double and Ryan Lowe also struck midway through the second period, with Lee McEvilly snaffling a late goal for Rochdale.
Click below for an individual match summary:
Bury 2-1 Bournemouth
Cambridge 0-1 Torquay
Carlisle 1-5 Hull
Darlington 2-2 Hartlepool
Exeter 0-0 Bristol Rovers
Kidderminster 1-3 Scunthorpe
Lincoln 1-1 Leyton Orient
Macclesfield 2-0 Southend
Oxford 2-1 Boston
Rushden 2-1 York
Shrewsbury 3-1 Rochdale
Swansea 0-0 Wrexham