After a solid 2-0 win against Yeovil Town on Tuesday, Aldershot Town will be looking to spoil Hartlepool United’s promotion bid at the EBB Stadium in the National League.
In association with LV Bet, Rob Worrall and Kirshon Wilkins previews the game:
Ross McCormack (Achilles), Alex Finney (hamstring op) and potentially Josh Rees, who looked as though he picked up an injury in the Yeovil game. Alfy Whittingham (Ankle) could return for Danny Searle’s side. Craig Tanner could make the starting line-up again, impressing in his 74 minutes against Yeovil Town on Tuesday.
Name: Hartlepool United
Opposition Manager: Dave Challinor
Stadium: Victoria Park
2019/20 National League Final Position: 12th (National League season ended in March 2020 with positions appointed on a Points-per-game system).
Current Position: 4th
Former Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury defender Dave Challinor is in charge of The Pools’. Challinor ended his playing career and started his managerial experience at Colwyn Bay, whom he guided to Runners-Up spot in the Northern Premier League in his first season at the helm, eventually gaining promotion to what was the Conference North via the Play-Offs. In November 2011, he was announced as the new manager of AFC Fylde, who at that time, played in the Northern Premier League Division 1 North. His impact was instant, gaining promotion (as Champions) in his first season and then guiding The Coasters to NPL Play-Offs the following season. They lost on that occasion, but gained promotion to the Conference North twelve months later.
Challinor then steered Fylde to Play-Off victory and up to the National League, where they finished once again in a Play-Off position, losing to Boreham Wood at the first stage. Challinor left Mill Fa
21 players have left Victoria Park to move onto pastures new. Mark Kitching (Stockport County), Myles Anderson (Weymouth FC), Joe Bunney (Grimsby Town), Jason Kennedy (Spennymoor Town), Michael Raynes (Ashton United), Gime Toure (Carlisle United), Kenton Richardson (Sunderland AFC), Fraser Kerr (Torquay United), Mitchell Beeney (Lewes FC), Niko Muir (Hampton & Richmond), Ryan Catterick (Marske United), Luke James (Barrow AFC), Josh Hawkes (Sunderland), Aidan Keena (Falkirk FC), Gus Mafuta (Boreham Wood), Richie Bennett (Stockport), David Parkhouse (Derry City) and Tyler Magloire (Motherwell FC) found new clubs. Aaron Cunningham is currently on loan (Blyth Spartans). Brook Miller travelled abroad to Sweden to join Pitea IF whilst Adam Bale was released and is yet to find a club.
7 players have been retained from their campaign last season. Players include Brad Young, Ben Killip, Ryan Donaldson, Nicky Featherstone, Luke Molyneux, Gavan Holohan and Adam Campbell staying at Victoria Park.
19 players have joined the Pools this season. Players include David Ferguson (York City), Ryan Johnson (Kidderminster Harriers), Danny Elliott (Chester FC), Zaine Francis-Angol (Boreham Wood), Mark Shelton (Salford), Mason Bloomfield (Norwich City), Gary Liddle (Walsall FC), Josh MacDonald (FC Halifax Town), Claudio Ofosu (Royston Town), Rhys Oates (Fleetwood Town), Timi Odusina (Norwich City), Tom Crawford (Notts County) and Jamie Sterry (South Shields). On-loan players include Lewis Cass (Newcastle United), Tom White (Blackburn Rovers), Harvey Saunders (Fleetwood Town), Henrich Ravas (Derby County), Luke Armstrong (Salford City) and former Aldershot Town loanee goalkeeper Brad James (Middlesbrough FC).
Hartlepool’s fortunes have changed from last season as they edge closer to securing a play-off position. Last season, they were a mid-table side and they were the league leaders not so long ago this season but an inconsistent run of form might see them settle for a play-off position which is not secured just yet.
Tomorrow’s referee is Elliott Swallow with his assistants Robert Evans and Alastair Higgs the fourth official officiating the game is Thomas Holden.
The match will be live-streamed and available on Shots TV Live, presented by Mark Butler along with Special Guests Terry Brown, Mark Anderson and a possible appearance from Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday Presenter Jeff Stelling who is a famous Hartlepool fan! The show will be starting at 1:30pm HERE. There will also be an interview from former loanee and current Hartlepool loanee Brad James alongside live BBC Surrey Sport Commentary from Rob Worrall, with guest summariser Steve Gibbs.