SATURDAY's National League clash between Eastleigh and Hartlepool United was abandoned at half-time due to a waterlogged pitch.

The two sides came into the weekend's match level on points but with Eastleigh ahead of their opponents on goal difference.

But after torrential rain at the Silverlake Stadium during the first 45 minutes, referee James Durkin saw fit to call the game off at the interval with the score 0-0.

The game will now have to be replayed within the next 40 days.

Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor said: "The whole pitch is saturated and with no guarantee of what rain is to come then it is the right decision.”

Both Challinor and his Eastleigh counterpart Ben Strevens had been out on the pitch ahead of the match to help the ground staff ensure the game could go ahead.

Difficult playing conditions meant both sides struggled to make their mark on the match.

There was almost a shock goal for Hartlepool in the opening stages after a long ball from goalkeeper Henrich Ravas almost caught out Eastleigh's Joe McDonnell.

The Spitfires keeper backtracked quickly to tip Ravas' kick over the crossbar and avoid a potentially embarrassing moment.

Eastleigh then went close through Tyrone Barnett, who headed narrowly wide from a Jack Payne free-kick.

The best chance of the half came on the half-hour mark, when Eastleigh's Cavaghn Miley got on the end of Sam Smart's low cross, but the midfielder was denied by the feet of Ravas.

The game's abandonment means Eastleigh and Hartlepool ended the day seventh and eighth in the table respectively.

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