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23 December 2017 Venue Victoria Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Pools v Maidenhead United

22 December 2017

Victoria Park Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Victoria Park

We turn our attentions to the weekend action with a full and in-depth preview of Maidenhead United's visit to Victoria Park.

Hartlepool United v Maidenhead United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 23rd December 2017, 3pm
Victoria Park

In Opposition
Maidenhead United have enjoyed a solid first campaign at National League level having been promoted last term after winning the National League North title.

They brought the momentum from 2016/17 in to the new season too and began with a number of confidence-boosting wins, notably against Pools in front of the BT Sport cameras in August.

However, victories have been harder to come by in recent months and The Magpies arrive at Victoria Park this weekend level on points with Pools in the National League table.

The loss of top marksman Dave Tarpey to Barnet hardly helped the situation but it’s been a more than satisfactory first half to their first campaign at the top table of non-league football.

One To Watch
Wing wonder Harry Pritchard is among the key players for Maidnhead and has been a regular supplier of both assists and goals from the left flank this season.

A creative spark who can also play in a deeper role at full-back if required, Pritchard has been on the books at York Road since 2012 following spells with Flackwell Heath and Burnham.

He has hit the net five times for The Magpies so far this season and has recently returned to fitness after injury so he’s a player will Pools will need to keep an eye on at The Vic this weekend.

Form Guide
Pools: LWLLLL
Maidenhead: DDDLDW

Head To Head
This Saturday will be just the second time the two teams have collided in competitive action, with the first occasions coming in the first month of the current campaign.

The Magpies ran out 2-1 winners in the televised encounter at York Road when Padraig Amond’s late penalty wasn’t enough to undo the damage done by a Dave Tarpey double.

Referee
It will be Dave Richardson’s first time in charge of a Pools game on Saturday when he’s on the whistle for our encounter with Maidenhead.

The official is now in his second season as a National League referee and has been in the middle for five games so far in the current campaign.

Richardson’s most recent outing came two weeks ago when he presided over Macclesfield Town’s thumping 4-1 win over Wrexham at Moss Rose.

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
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 introduced 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 5/4
Maidenhead 21/10
Draw 23/10

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Match Reports

Pools Suffer Defeat At The Vic

23 December 2017

Rhys Oates Mark Fletcher, Shutter Press.
Rhys Oates in action against Maidenhead United.

Maidenhead United came from a goal down to win 2-1 and consign Pools to a fifth successive defeat.

Craig Harrison's side had taken a first-half lead through Jake Cassidy but, after failing to capitalise further, were punished in the second half as the visitors struck twice to take the three points. 

There was a lively start to the game, with early chances at both ends as Rhys Oates drilled one wide for Pools and Harold Odametey did the same with his effort for the visitors.

Jonathan Franks cut in from the right and fired a warning shot at goal on seven minutes that went wide of the near post as Pools looked to get off to the right start.

On ten minutes the action was back at the opposite end as Max Kilman crossed into the box for the dominant Sean Marks to head down into the path of Harry Pritchard. But with the goal in his sights, Pritchard took the option to get down and head the ball and found only the arms of Scott Loach.

Pritchard had another punt from long range shortly after but again it was easy for Loach.

Oates grew into the game for Pools and was a real threat down both wings, forcing the team forward and, on 25 minutes he had a great chance on goal. The Pools forward was picking out his spot with a decent effort onto to be denied by Rene Steer with a great block.

Kenton Richardson arrived to fire in a low drive through the crowd at goal but his effort was blocked wide and, according to the appeals from the Pools player, it hit a defender’s hand in the process but the referee awarded only the corner.

Less than five minutes later and Pools were ahead; Nicky Deverdics puts a great ball in from the right which picks out Jake Cassidy in the box and he gets up to meet the ball and send it past Carl Pentney to make it 1-0.

It was nearly 2-0 shortly after as Oates caused problems down the left, skipped past his man and crossed the ball in for Michael Woods running into the box. But just as it looked like Woods was set to double the lead, Steer popped up once more to block the shot.

Pools lost Kenton Richardson to injury after the right back was challenged when skipping upfield with the ball and Scott Harrison came on to replace him.

Deverdics sent a decent freekick into the box which found Rhys Oates in plenty of space but this time the header went over the bar as Pools looked for a crucial second goal.

Franks set up Cassidy for the final real chance of the half but the big striker sent his header just over the bar and Pools went in 1-0 up at the break.

Harrison’s side started the second half brightly and there were early chances for Pools as Conor Newton had an effort cleared off the line and Jonathan Franks caused problems from the left.

But it was the visitors who were next to find the back of the net, breaking forward to get the equaliser on 52 minutes through the busy Sean Marks.

The second half was a niggly affair, with some dubious challenges and plenty of yellow cards stopping either team from getting into their flow, and Pools looked for someone to add the much-needed spark.

Scott Loach made a great save to deny Harry Pritchard from close range just after the 70th minute as the visitors remained a threat on the break.

And then on 77 minutes, Maidenhead took the lead; Loach saved again from Pritchard but with no one in a home shirt reacting quick enough, Marks nipped in and sent the rebound back past the Pools keeper and into the back of the net to make it 2-1.

Pools had plenty of the ball in the remainder of the half but could not find enough to get another goal and the game finished in defeat. 

Full Time: Pools 1 Maidenhead United 2

Attendance: 2756 (40 Maidenhead United)

Booked: Harrison (45), Laing (49), Newton (63)

Pools: Loach, Richardson (Harrison 40), Laing, Donnelly, Adams (Rodney 66), Newton, Woods, Deverdics, Franks, Cassidy (Simpson 82), Oates.
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Munns.

Maidenhead United: Pentney, Clerima, Steer (Mulley 70), Odametey, Massey, Emmanuel (Clifton 67), Marks (Hyde 81), Pritchard, Kilman, Goodman, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Owusu, Peters. 

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