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Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW - A look to our first opponents of 2023 as we make the short trip to Hartlepool

31 December 2022

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW - A look to our first opponents of 2023 as we make the short trip to Hartlepool

31 December 2022

We look to return to winning ways as we kick off 2023 with a short trip north to face Hartlepool United – our third trip to the Suit Direct Arena this season after encounters in both the Papa John's Trophy and FA Cup.

The 1-0 defeat at Bradford City on Thursday ended our three-game winning streak in league action but tomorrow's clash provides an opportunity to begin the new year with three points.

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Our opponents

Pools are currently in 21st place in League Two, four points behind us having played a game more. 

They come into the game on the back of a defeat against Mansfield which ended their two game winning run against Rochdale and Crawley.

Recent meetings

Pools have come out on top in both home meetings against Town this season, winning 2-0 in the Papa Johns Trophy before a 3-1 victory in the second round of the FA Cup thanks to a Josh Umerah brace.

In the previous league meeting at The EnviroVent Stadium Town came out on top 2-1 thanks to first half goals from Jack Muldoon and Alex Pattison.



The man in charge

Keith Curle replaced Paul Hartley in the dugout earlier this season after a start to the season that left Pools in the bottom two. Curle has overseen a number of wins that has seen them move out of the bottom two at the halfway point of the season.

Curle has previously managed Oldham Athletic, Carlisle, Notts County, Carlisle, Torquay, Mansfield and Chester. He also had a distinguished playing career that saw him earn a big money move from Wimbledon to Manchester City, also later playing for Wolves as well as earning three England caps.

Ones to watch

Josh Umerah, a summer signing from non-league outfit Wealdstone has shone so far, netting seven times.

Forward Wes MacDonald, who arrived from Morecambe, has three goals.

Clarke Oduor has a pair of assists in limited playing time on loan from Barnsley whilst Callum Cooke has a goal and four assists.

The defensive ranks have been settled so far this season with ever present goalkeeper Ben Killip playing behind a defence that includes Rollin Menayese and David Ferguson.

Recent history

The club were originally 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

Simon Weaver remains without Will Smith, Rory McArdle, Stephen Dooley, Matty Daly, Kyle Ferguson, Danny Grant and Josh Coley.

Skipper Josh Falkingham was forced off in our Yorkshire Derby defeat to Bradford on Thursday and will face late checks to see if he is fit enough to be involved in the match. 


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