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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

21 April 2018 Venue Victoria Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Pools v Torquay United

20 April 2018

Victoria Park Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Victoria Park

We turn our attentions to the weekend action with a full and in-depth preview of Torquay United's visit to The Vic.

Hartlepool United v Torquay United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 21st April 2018, 3pm
Victoria Park

In Opposition
Torquay United come to Victoria Park this weekend knowing that the likelihood is they’ll need three points to keep alive their hopes of avoiding relegation.

Gary Owers’ men are seven points adrift of safety following Barrow’s midweek win at Guiseley and will realistically need to win all three of their remaining games to stand a chance of survival.

The Gulls have hit a reasonably good patch of form in recent weeks though, having won four of the last seven, so they will arrive in the north-east confident of getting the result they need.

Owner Clarke Osborne has this week insisted that the Club will remain full-time even if they do slip in to National League South for 2018/19.

One To Watch
The pace and trickery of Jamie Reid is certainly something Pools will need to be aware of when Torquay United come to The Vic this weekend.

The Torquay-born front man made his loan move from local rivals Exeter City a permanent one earlier this term and he scored the only goal in their win over FC Halifax Town at the weekend.

Form Guide
Torquay United: DWWLLW

Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 80th competitive meeting between the two clubs and Torquay have the edge historically having won on 29 occasions in comparison to Pools’ 27 victories.

However, Pools have enjoyed greater success in the fixture in recent times and have not been beaten by The Gulls in any of the last ten encounters.

Pools have won three out of the last four games without conceding a goal and you have to go back to March 1989 for the last time Torquay won at The Vic.

Simeon Lucas will be on the whistle for Saturday’s meeting with Torquay United in what will be his fourth Pools game of the campaign.

Another official in his first season on the National League list of referees, Lucas most recently took charge of our 3-2 win over Woking at The Vic in February.

He was also the man in the middle for November’s goalless draw at Boreham Wood, as well as our 2-0 home defeat to AFC Fylde in the opening month of the season.

Lucas’ most recent outing came at Prenton Park earlier this month when he presided over Tranmere Rovers’ 4-2 win over Gateshead.

Live Coverage
Pools legend Brian Honour will join Mark Simpson in the Victoria Park press box to provide live commentary for Pools PlayerHD subscribers all over the world.

The duo will be on-air from The Vic from 2.50pm on Saturday so if you can’t get along to the game, make sure you join the lads to stay right up to date.

Click here for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD on a Monthly Pass for just £4.49.

Tickets for the game are on sale now both online and from the Club’s Ticket Office.

Fans will be able to buy tickets on the day of the game from the Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road or from our two Matchday Ticket Offices.

There will be no cash turnstiles for Pools fans but we have made available a method by which supporters can buy tickets on their cards directly at the gate.

Click here for all details on buying tickets for Saturday’s game.

Match Odds
Pools 2/1
Torquay United 13/10
Draw 9/4

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Match Reports

All Square At The Vic

21 April 2018

Ryan Donaldson Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Ryan Donaldson in action against Torquay United.

Pools conceded a second-half equaliser to share the points with Torquay United at Victoria Park.

Ryan Donaldson put Pools 1-0 up in the 14th minute of a fairly even first half but the visitors, who were battling to avoid relegation this afternoon, rallied after the break and upped the pressure on Matthew Bates' side to take a point. 

The visitors had a penalty shout turned away inside the first couple of minutes and were quickly facing pressure at the other end.

Rhys Oates forced his way down the left before cutting inside and sending a shot at goal, which was parried well by Vincent Dorel.

And with just fourteen minutes on the clock, Pools took the lead; Ryan Donaldson picked up possession just outside the box and sent a low drive at goal. Whether his original effort was heading goalwards or not mattered little as it took a big deflection off a Gulls man, which wrongfooted the keeper and the ball hit the back of the net.

Just over ten minutes later and the visitors had a great chance to draw level as Louis Laing was harshly ruled to have committed a foul inside the area as the referee awarded a penalty kick.

Brett Williams stepped up to take the kick, which he powered at goal but was not beating Scott Loach who pulled off a great block to keep it out and then Aaron Barnes arrived to send the rebound wide.

The first half was comfortable for Pools really, with only the occasional threat at the other end. Blair Adams got up well to head clear a cross in from the left, while Rhys Healey fired high over the bar on the volley.

Jamie Reid picked up the ball 30 yards out and fired a low drive through the box but that went wide of Loach’s right-hand post.

Jake Cassidy was the next to threaten for Pools just before half time as he pushed down the left on a determined run but saw his final ball put out for a corner, which the visitors were able to clear.

Torquay had a couple of shots early in the second half but Scott Loach was not tested as both Reid and Williams fired high over the bar.

Jack Munns fizzed a teasing freekick in from the left which caused a panic in the box but Dorel was able to parry and the ball was cleared back out.

The visitors kept plugging away and creating shots on goal, though most were from a distance, with both McGinty and Healey sending shots wide of target.

Scott Loach was called into action just before 70 minutes when he pulled off a great save at full stretch to push over a fierce effort from Healey, who went on to miss a great chance from close range shortly after.

Brett Williams hit the angle of the goal with a header from close range as Torquay continued to press in search of an equaliser.

Jamie Reid, who seemed most intent on scoring for the visitors, tried his luck again on 75 minutes but was denied by Loach who pulled off another strong save to push it out.

Pools were down to ten men with ten minutes remaining as debutant Aaron Cunningham was shown a straight red card for tackle, bringing his first appearance for the Club to an early end.

And the visitors took almost instant advantage of the extra man as Rhys Healey finally found the shot to beat Loach and made it 1-1.

The game remained level, despite five minutes of added time as Pools finished their home campaign of 2017/18 with a draw. The result also saw Torquay United relegated from the National League. 

Full Time: Pools 1 Torquay United 1 

Attendance: 3244 (152 Torquay United)

Booked: Newton (5), Cassidy (83)

Off: Cunningham (80)

Pools: Loach, Hawkins, Harrison, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, Newton (Munns 22), Hawkes, Donaldson, Cassidy, Oates (Cunningham 65).
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Orrell, Owen.

Torquay United: Dorel, Davis, McGinty, Gowling, Young, Reid, Barnes (Efete 79), Balatoni (Dowling 63), Healey, Evans, Williams (Keating 84).
Subs Not Used: Clarke, Kulowski.

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