Sunderland West End claimed a point as they played out a 2-2 at Hartlepool FC’s Grayfields on Wednesday night.

Kieran Campbell headed Hartlepool into a 20th minute lead but West End equalised through Reece Thompson only four minutes later.

Brad Forster headed Sunderland West End into the lead in the second half but the points were shared when Jamie Tumilty coolly slotted home.

Looking to climb above South Shields Reserves, Hartlepool named a strong squad despite missing a few key names.

It took the hosts time to settle but they create the first chance when Ashley Clark opened up to find Matty Gardner but his weak effort was saved by Lee Burrell.

Sunderland West End should have broken the deadlock in the fifth minute. Alan Golightly’s cross dropped in the penalty area where numerous Martin Thompson efforts were either blocked or saved and Hartlepool eventually cleared.

Callum Short sent a glancing header wide for the hosts before the game settled into a quiet period. Both sides were seeing spells of possession but were failing to find the vital final ball.

In the 20th minute though, Hartlepool did take the lead through Campbell. The former Horden CW man rose at the back post to meet Dale Campion’s cross and Campbell’s header had Burrell rooted to his spot.

The lead could have been doubled three minutes later when Clark weaved a way through but his eventual effort was saved.

And, Hartlepool would be made to pay as West End pulled level in the 24th minute. A delicately chipped ball played Reece Thompson in and his cool finish picked out the far corner.

Hartlepool seemed frustrated to have conceded only a couple of minutes after taking the lead and they almost regained their lead on the half hour mark. Clark’s low free-kick was driven across the face of the goal and it found Tumilty but his powerful drive was well saved by Burrell.

The scoreline was level at the break but both sides will have felt they could have taken an advantage going into the second half.

Ten minutes into the second half, Hartlepool could have taken the lead through Tumilty when he was played in but he was outmuscled and West End cleared to safety.

Campion fired over when a free-kick fell his way before West End took the lead in the 66th minute.

A deep corner found Forster at the back post and his header somehow snuck between the post and Kalon Lloyd to put the visitors in front.

Tumilty wasted a dangerous Hartlepool free-kick as the game entered its final 10 minutes while substitute John Stephenson found a sight of goal but his effort was blocked.

Hartlepool were to pull level though in the 83rd minute. A West End defender was outmuscled in the penalty area and Stephenson played the ball square to Tumilty who tucked the ball home to ensure an exciting final five minutes.

Golightly’s long-range effort forced a fine save from Josh Noble in the 86th minute while a glancing West End header was sent just wide in the 90th minute.

Both sides could have snatched it in the second minute of additional time. A Hartlepool corner fell kindly to Rhys Tapner but he couldn’t find the desired power and Burrell saved. West End countered and played Matthew Halliday in but he failed to find the target and the points were shared.

Full-time: Hartlepool FC 2-2 Sunderland West End

Hartlepool FC: Noble, Stokes, Moss (c), Short, Swailes, Clark (Stephenson, 72′), Lloyd, Gardner (Naylor, 62′), Campbell (Tapner, 88′), Tumilty, Campion

Unused sub: Coils

Sunderland West End: Burrell, Hodgson (Lax, 69′), Reece Thompson, Robinson, Forster (c), Smith, Golightly, Cook (Keithley, 50′), Martin Thompson, Stanger, Heads (Halliday, 64′)

Unused sub: Chapman