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Question of the Week

Is the squad strong enough to challenge for promotion?

Strong yes
Weak yes
Neutral
Weak no
Strong no


 

Hartlepool Preview

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 18/03/2004

THE Mariners are back at Blundell Park on Saturday, hoping to build on the encouraging performance from their game with Swindon on Wednesday, with Nicky Law still hoping for his first win as Town boss.

I am sure that we don’t all need reminding of what happened when we last played Hartlepool – and the players will be wanting to avenge that thumping. However, not many players actually survive from playing that game. Davison, Crane, Ford, Groves, Cas, Boulding and Crowe all started that game and have either gone or will probably not play. Only Hockless, Rowan, Barnard and Campbell are the only ones who started the game on that Friday night and could play on Saturday,

Since then, Hartlepool have had a much better season than expected after their promotion last year. They were tipped by many for relegation, but Neale Cooper, a relative unknown in English football has done well, guiding the Victoria Park side to ninth in the table.

Home > 2003-2004 Season > Previews > Hartlepool (a)


The Opposition

Manager
Neale Cooper. . Ex-Mansfield manager who took over the Robins in November 2000. He was replaced within a year by Roy Evans, until he was re-instated in 2001. Starting to win over the fans and looks likely to guide Town to a play off spot come the end of the year. Former assistant for a brief time to ex Mariners manager Kenny Swain.

The Team
Former Leeds United midfielder Mark Tinkler (left) is a key player in the Hartlepool side. Determined and tough, Tinkler has made over well over 100 appearances for Pool now. Ex-Sheffield Wednesday striker cum midfielder Richie Humphreys, who tends to play on the left wing for Hartlepool, is always a threat and has the ability to pop up with goals, as he did against us back in September. At the heart of the Pool defence is Chris Westwood who signed from Wolves back in 1999. Instrumental in their promotion last season, Westwood has made 35 starts already this season. In attack is ex Town forward Paul Robinson who struck a hat trick in the 8-1 mauling earlier this season. Since then, Robinson has scored another six goals this season but has found himself on the bench in recent games.

Recent Form

 

TownHartlepool
LSwindon(h)0-2
DBournemouth(a)1-1
LWrexham(h)0-3
LNotts Co(a)1-3
WBarnsley(h)6-1
Currently 19th in Division 2.
DStockport(h)2-2
LQPR(h)1-4
LColchester(a)1-2
WChesterfield(h)2-0
WWycombe(a)4-3
Currently 9th in Division 2.

Top Scorers

 

TownHartlepool
Boulding13 (now Barnsley)
Jevons12
Anderson5
Williams12
Robinson9

Team News

 

TownHartlepool

  • Jason Crowe could return on the bench for Town after being sidelined for three weeks or so. John McDermott is thought the be nearing fitness but needs match practice before he can be involved.

  • Stacy Coldicott will hope that he shakes off his groin strain so that he can play again. If not, then Chris Bolder will resume in midfield. Also in the midfield, Iain Anderson will be pushing for a starting place after a lively substitute appearance on Wednesday, though Nicky Law will probably stick with John Thorrington.

  • Jason Crowe and John McDermott could return in the next week or two but will play no part. The fitness of Isiah Rankin, whose loan ends on Saturday, is unknown as yet.
  • Neale Cooper will hope to welcome back defender Mick Barron who sat out the Stockport match on Tuesday through illness. Similarly, Cooper will be hoping that the influential Mark Tinkler will be fit after hobbling off with an injury in the week.

  • Gavin Strachan will play no part in the game. He suffered a recurrence of a knee injury at Chesterfield a few weeks ago and will not start training until next week.
  • Probable Teams

     

    TownHartlepool
    Alan Fettis
    Mike Edwards
    Craig Armstrong
    Paul Warhurst
    Greg Young
    John Thorrington
    Chris Bolder
    Stuart Campbell
    Darren Barnard
    Phil Jevons
    Jon Rowan
    Jim Provett
    Michael Nelson
    Chris Westwood
    Micky Barron
    Hugh Robertson
    Neil Danns
    Mark Tinkler
    Steven Istead
    Joel Porter
    Eifon Williams
    Richie Humphreys

    Subs

     

    TownHartlepool
    Darren Mansaram
    Iain Anderson
    Jason Crowe
    Wes Parker
    Des Hamilton
    Scott Walker
    Paul Robinson
    Darrell Clarke
    Adam Boyd
    Demitrios Donstantopoulos

    Last Time Out

    Need I remind you? All I have to say is 8-1. The less said the better

    Town Team: Davison, Crowe, Ford, Crane, Barnard, Cas, Groves, Campbell, Hockless, Rowan (Nimmo, 61), Boulding (Soames, 76)
    Subs: (not used) Bolder, McDermott, Edwards,
    Goals: Rowan

    Hartlepool Team: Provett, Barron, Westwood, Nelson, Robson, Strachan (Clarke, 70), Tinkler, Humphreys, Eifion Williams, Gabbiadini (McCann, 72), Paul Robinson (Easter, 81)
    Subs: (not used) Anthony Williams, Istead,
    Goals: Groves OG, Robinson (3), Strachan, Humphreys, E Williams, Gabbiadini

    Attendance: 5,528    Report

    Hartlepool Head-to-Head (14th on The Opposition Ladder).

    Prediction

    Fishy prediction: 2-0 to Town Reader's POMs

    Directions

    Click on the link for directions to Blundell Park (left).

    Admission Prices

    Click on the link for ticket prices to Blundell Park.




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