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24 February 2018 Venue Victoria Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Pools v Ebbsfleet United

23 February 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 Ebbsfleet United's visit to The Vic.

Hartlepool United v Ebbsfleet United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 24th February 2018, 3pm
Victoria Park

In Opposition
Ebbsfleet United have driven themselves right back in to contention for a play-off place with a brilliant upturn in form which has seen them win their last three games.

Daryl McMahon’s men had collected just four points since the turn of the year but consecutive victories over Solihull Moors, FC Halifax Town and Woking have seen them charge back within two points of the top seven.

It’s all the more impressive given that this is the Kent outfit’s first season at National League level after winning promotion via the Conference South play-offs last term.

They’ve been bolstered further by the arrival of highly-rated front man Corey Whitely from Dagenham & Redbridge and boss McMahon has hinted he’s on the lookout for more new signings in the coming weeks.

One To Watch
Danny Kedwell got back among the goals in midweek when he scored both in the 2-1 win over Woking which helped lift Ebbsfleet up the table.

The powerful front man had gone nine games without a goal before then but Pools won’t need reminding of his threat after he was on target in their 3-0 win over Craig Harrison’s men in November.

Kent-born Kedwell signed for The Fleet at the start of 2015 after a four-year stint at Gillingham and he’s become a reliable figure in attack – and one which Pools will have to keep an eye on.

Form Guide
Pools: LLDLWL
Ebbsfleet: DLLWWW

Head To Head
Ebbsfleet United came out on top when the sides met for the very first time back in November when goals from Myles Weston, Danny Kedwell and Luke Coulson helped them to a 3-0 win at Stonebridge Road.

Referee
Glen Hart makes his second visit to Victoria Park this weekend when he’s the man on the whistle for our meeting with Ebbsfleet United.

The official’s only other game in charge of Pools came back in August when he oversaw our 1-1 draw with Chester at The Vic.

In his first season on the National League list of referees, Hart’s last appointment came at the beginning of the month when he saw Eastleigh draw 2-2 at AFC Fylde.

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 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
Ebbsfleet 11/8
Draw 23/10

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Match Reports

Defeat For Pools At The Vic

24 February 2018

Louis Laing Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Louis Laing in action against Ebbsfleet United.

A first-half strike was enough for Ebbsfleet United to take all three points on a disappointing afternoon at Victoria Park.

Ebbsfleet United showed their intent from the off as Corey Whitely broke forward inside the first minute to send a low strike at goal which hit the base of the far post and went out of play.

Just two minutes later and the visitors had another chance, this time it was Luke Conlon who found himself space to fire in from the edge of the box but Scott Loach was on alert to tip it over the bar.

Louis Laing was left grounded as Ebbsfleet broke down the right but fortunately Carl Magnay intercepted the cross into the box to deny another effort on goal on six minutes.

Scott Loach was back in action before the tenth minute as Pools looked edgy in these opening minutes; a long throw into the box from the left was picked up by Whitely inside the box. He turned smartly to send a snapshot at goal but Loach reacted well to hold it.

Jake Cassidy looked brightest for Pools in this first half and he did well in his side’s first attack of the game, which saw Michael Woods get a shot in on goal that was held by Nathan Ashmore in the visiting goal.

Blair Adams pushed in from the left just after with a powerful strike in from a tight angle which was also held by Ashmore.

Ebbsfleet United took the lead on 16 minutes though as their pressure finally paid off; Conlon cut inside from the left to send a cross into the box which picked out Dean Rance at the far post in plenty of space and he sent a header past Loach to make it 1-0.

Pools showed a quick response to the goal with pressure at the other end, with Cassidy again doing well in the build-up, but Adams had his powerful cross blocked out by the keeper for a corner. Michael Woods sent in the resulting corner from the left and Louis Laing got there first but he sent his kick high over target.

The majority of the action though happened at the other end of the pitch as Ebbsfleet looked to add to their tally in a 45 minutes the visitors dominated.

Loach parried well from a Conlon strike into the box, while the visitors sent the rebound over the bar.

Whitely should have scored on 22 minutes when he broke through on goal with only Loach to beat but with the target in his sights, he blasted his effort wide.

Conlon was back on the attack shortly after, this time forcing his way up the left flank to cut into the box and fire in from a narrow angle but fortunately Loach was there again to save.

A Blair Adams corner from the right gave Pools an opening just before the half-hour mark but Michael Woods’ shot from the penalty spot went over the bar.

The wind swirling around inside The Vic added to the problems for Pools and there was a real scramble as the lively Conlon crossed into the box once more but again Whitely send his shot high.

Pools were fortunate in the end to go in just 1-0 down at the break and still in with a chance to get something from the game.

There was a higher tempo from both sides early in the second and Pools looked at have a bit more bite about them for a spell.

Carl Magnay had a strike at goal which was parried by Ashmore but then Cassidy arrived to smash the rebound low at goal only to again be denied by the visiting keeper who also managed to deny Woods on the line as Pools looked to grab an equaliser.

A long-throw from Scott Harrison bounced its way through to Michael Woods on the edge of the area but his strike back through the box went wide of the far post.

Harrison’s throw caused problems again at the back for Ebbsfleet, this time picking out sub Conor Newton at the far post. Newton got a glance on the ball to nod it goalwards but Ashmore got down well to hold the effort.

Pools were putting plenty of pressure on the Ebbsfleet goal as the second half progressed, with plenty of action inside the final third. But with Ashmore strong in goal for the visitors, Bates’ side couldn’t find a way through.

And while it was an improved second-half display from Pools, there was no way back from the first-half goal conceded and the game finished in defeat for Matthew Bates' side. 

Full Time: Pools 0 Ebbsfleet United 1

Booked: Rodney (4), Magnay (47), George (63)

Attendance: 2895 (98 Ebbsfleet United)

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Harrison, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, George (Hawkins 75), Woods, Rodney (Newton 61), Cassidy, Oates.
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Hawkes, Owen.

Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, Connors, Rance, Winfield, Clark, Drury, Kedwell, Payne, Magri, Conlon (Shields 73), Whitely (Weston 89).
Subs Not Used: Powell, Miles, Bush. 

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