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Match Previews

Hartlepool Preview - Taking a closer look at the Pools

21 October 2021

Match Previews

Hartlepool Preview - Taking a closer look at the Pools

21 October 2021



After Tuesday night's enthralling 2-2 draw at home to Tranmere Rovers Simon Weaver and his side face another tricky test this weekend as they make the relatively short journey north to face Hartlepool United.


Goals from Jack Muldoon and Luke Armstrong saw Town maintain their hold on second spot in the division but will face a United side coming into the game on the back of an impressive 3-1 away win at Bradford City.

Our opponents

Hartlepool are currently in ninth position with 20 points through 13 games but sit only three points behind Town.
Having earned promotion from the National League via the playoffs last season they have begun life well back in the EFL.

The win at Valley Parade was their first away win of the season, though they have been propelled by a league best home record that has seen them win five and draw one of their six games at Victoria Park.

Previous meetings

The two sides are familiar with each from Town's two seasons in the National League. In 2018/19 Town's first away game at that level resulted in a 2-2 draw thanks to a last minute equaliser from Callum Howe. The return fixture saw Town triumph 3-1 with Lloyd Kerry, Jack Muldoon and Mark Beck on the scoresheet.

The following season witnessed a Boxing Day clash with Kerry and Muldoon (twice) again netting along with Josh Falkingham en route to a 4-1 home win with a hard fought 1-0 away win earned a week later on New Years' Day through Jon Stead's second-half strike.

Town also triumphed that season in the FA Trophy by a 3-2 margin, stunning the visitors with a late comeback en route to Wembley success.

Ones to watch

United lost last season's top scorer Luke Armstrong to Town in the summer as well as midfielder Rhys Oates who moved to Mansfield.

Tyler Burey, on loan from Millwall, has netted three times this season in the league with Mark Cullen, who arrived in the summer from Port Vale and Luke Molyneux hitting the target twice apiece. Youngster Will Goodwin, a loanee from Stoke City, has added two assists.

Another summer arrival, Neil Byrne, who joined from Halifax Town has settled in at the back and has played every minute of the season so far.

Jake Lawlor, who spent last season at Town of course, signed for the club at the start of the season and has made one appearance to date.

The man in charge

United are managed by Dave Challinor, a familiar face to Town fans from his near decade in charge at AFC Fylde, where he took charge after a spell at Colwyn Bay.

Challinor left the club midway through the truncated 2019/20 campaign but took over later that same season at Hartlepool, with the club narrowly missing out on a playoff spot despite a late season surge. He went one better the following year though with the thrilling playoff final victory over Torquay United securing their return to the EFL.

Prior to his time in management Challinor played for Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury.

History

The club were original founded in 1908 and elected to the Football League in 1921 in Third Division North before being placed into the old Fourth Division. They won promotion for the first time in 1967/68 but were relegated a season later.

The club also hold the unwanted record of having had to apply for re-election to the league a record 14 times.
Subsequent promotions were achieved in 1990/91, 2002/03 and 2006/07 with the club narrowly avoiding
promotion from League One following a playoff final defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in 2005.

The club then struggled at the wrong end of the bottom tier for a number of seasons before their 96-year stay in the league was ended following relegation in 2017, with promotion back to the EFL achieved last season in dramatic fashion.

Brian Clough began his famous managerial career at the club, with the record appearance holder Ritchie Humphreys, who made 543 appearances, and all-time leading scorer Joshie Fletcher with 111 goals.

Team news

Rory McArdle remains a long term absentee following his recent surgery but Town will be hoping that Connor Hall is available for selection after missing out in midweek with a minor knock.
 

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