Jobi McAnuff put the O’s in the lead in the first-half but The Pools levelled the scores just before half-time.
Dean Brill’s second-half penalty save kept the the O’s in the game to keep us at the top of the National League table.
Justin Edinburgh made five changes from our FA Trophy victory over Blyth Spartans. Matt Harrold started his second consecutive game, while Jobi McAnuff, Joe Widdowson and Macauley Bonne come back into the starting XI.
Orient got the game underway in windy conditions and started the game brightly enjoying the majority of possession inside the Hartlepool half.
However, the hosts looked a threat on the break and had two early chances in front of the travelling O’s.
First Josh Hawkes headed a free-kick back across goal towards his team-mates but the sea of red bodies were in the right place at the right time to clear the ball to safety.
The second chance came when Hartlepool countered and found Hawkes free, inside the box. Just as the youngster set himself up for a shot, Dan Happe appeared and stole the ball with an excellent interception.
Orient’s dominance paid off shortly after 20 minutes when Matt Harrold held the ball up well inside the box before it found its way to the waiting Jobi McAnuff who struck towards goal from distance and found the net.
The game began to even-out as we approached 40 minutes but a lovely counter-attacking move almost saw the O’s clinch a second.
It all started when Craig Clay won the ball back in midfield and found James Brophy who switched play to find McAnuff. The skipper then played a one-two with the overlapping Joe Widdowson before he set Brophy up for the shot which was eventually blocked by Michael Raynes.
Orient went close again moments later, Jamie Turley flicked on Lee’s long throw towards the back post but the late arriving Macauley Bonne couldn’t quite keep the ball in play and on target.
But it was the hosts who struck next, a long ball in to the box fell to the feet of Nicke Kabamba who prodded home seconds before the half-time whistle.
The second half began in lively fashion and Orient conceded a penalty when Luke James was adjudged to have been bundled to the floor under Joe Widdowson’s challenge.
Liam Noble’s penalty was wonderfully saved by Dean Brill who dived the correct way and held the ball after the kick.
McAnuff went in search for his second of the afternoon following his one-two with Bonne, but Loach did well to tip the driven shot round his post.
Late on in the second-half, Bonne rose highest to connect with the ball and flick it on to the run of newly introduced James Alabi. Loach in the Hartlepool net was quick off his line to smother the ball and danger.
Two of the final chances of the game fell to the O’s. Firstly, Alabi saw his shot blocked by a blue body. Then Widdowson appeared at the back post to strike at goal but a combination of the ‘keeper Loach and the post kept the ball out.
That was the final chance of the game as the two teams couldn’t be separted. Orient remain top of the league by a point.
ORIENT: Brill, Judd, Turley, Happe, Widdowson, Brophy, Clay, Lee (Lawless 80), McAnuff (C), Bonne, Harrold (Alabi 68)
SUBS: Sargeant, Sotiriou, Ogie
BOOKED: Widdowson (58) McAnuff (76)
GOALS: McAnuff (22)
HARTLEPOOL: Loach, Donaldson (C), Kioso, Raynes, Anderson (Cunningham 87), Amos, Featherstone, Molyneux (Noble 44), Hawkes, Kabamba, James
SUBS: Kitching, Hawkins, Muir
BOOKED: Molyneux (39), Donaldson (90+4)
REFEREE: Martin Woods
ATTENDANCE: 3,297 (439)