Northampton Town 1 Hartlepool United 1
Northampton's Liam Dolman, a local lad who had made an impact in the heart of the home defence, marked this occasion with his first senior goal.
That strike was cancelled out by Ben Clark, whose third career goal came on his return to the side after seven weeks out through injury.
Dolman struck first, hooking in a shot from eight yards after a corner by Daniel Jones had been headed towards him by Jason Crowe.
But Dolman picked up a dead leg in the process and though he soldiered on, he didn't reappear for the second half.
Hartlepool had good reason to be relieved at their equaliser and point as they ended a run of seven successive away defeats with a first draw on their travels this season.
Clark's big moment arrived when a corner from Robbie Elliott was only half-cleared by the home defence and when Willie Boland's shot was blocked, Clark reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball.
Hartlepool should have been level before they scored with David Foley testing Mark Bunn in the 24th minute, and when the Northampton goalkeeper spilled a corner from Elliott, Clark had earlier prodded wide.
In the second half both sides were guilty of squandering great chances to win the game.
Ian Moore did well to curl a shot against the crossbar, but he should have done better 15 minutes from time when he somehow diverted a cross from Matty Robson wide.
That came just a minute after Northampton substitute Ian Henderson had fired woefully over the bar with the goal at his mercy after Dean Bowditch had crossed the ball into his path.