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30 March 2018 Venue Gallagher Stadium Attendance

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Match Previews

Preview: Maidstone United v Pools

29 March 2018

The Gallagher Stadium Rex Features
Maidstone United play on an artificial surface at The Gallagher Stadium

We look ahead to the Good Friday action with a full and in-depth preview of our trip to The Gallagher Stadium (3pm kick-off).

Maidstone United v Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Friday 30th March 2018, 3pm
The Gallagher Stadium

In Opposition
Maidstone United prepare to play hosts on Good Friday and will know that Pools can leapfrog them in the National League table with victory at The Gallagher Stadium.

The Stones sit one place and point above Pools at the moment but their 1-0 reverse at promotion-chasing Wrexham last weekend was their first defeat in four on the back of some improved form.

Back-to-back home wins over Torquay United and Sutton United were followed up with a creditable draw with leaders Macclesfield Town as Jay Saunders’ men look to stay clear of the bottom four.

Both sides will know the work is far from over but the victors in this Good Friday contest will take a big stride towards safety with just six more games left to play afterwards.

One To Watch
The vastly-experienced Stuart Lewis is going to have a key role to play for The Stones as they look to ensure they don’t get dragged right in to the relegation scrap at the bottom of the National League.

The 30-year-old midfielder joined Maidstone permanently during the summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at the club from Ebbsfleet United.

A recent red card against Boreham Wood – his second of the campaign – and subsequent suspension allowed him to “recharge his batteries” and he returned in top form with the winning goal against Sutton United.

With over 300 senior games under his belt he provided a steadying influence in the Maidstone engine room and that’s a battle Pools will need to win at The Gallagher Stadium.

Form Guide
Maidstone United: LLWWDL
Pools: LLDDWW

Head To Head
Friday’s game will be the sixth competitive meeting between the two clubs but the first to be played in Maidstone since the early 1990s.

Pools’ 3-1 win over The Stones in September was the first encounter between the clubs since our brilliant 4-1 win at Watling Street in March 1991 when goals from Brian Honour (2), Paul Dalton and Paul Baker continue the promotion momentum.

Pools’ record against Maidstone is pretty solid over the years having won four of the five previous meetings – the only defeat came away from home in December 1989.

Referee
Sam Purkiss will be taking charge of his third Pools game this Easter weekend when he’s the man on the whistle for our Good Friday trip to Maidstone United.

The official – another in his first season on the National League list of referees – also presided over our 3-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet United in November and our 4-2 loss at Dagenham & Redbridge in January.

His most recent outing came back at Ebbsfleet last weekend when he oversaw their 1-1 draw with Maidenhead United in the National League.

Live Coverage
We’ll be linking-up with our friends at BBC Tees to provide live commentary for Pools PlayerHD subscribers all over the world.

If you can’t get to Mill Farm on Saturday then make sure you join us for full online coverage to keep right up to date with the action against The Coasters.

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

Tickets
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets for Friday’s game on the cash-only turnstiles prior to kick-off at The Gallagher Stadium.

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

Match Odds
Maidstone 1/1
Pools 13/5
Draw 13/5

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Match Reports

Pools Make It Three In A Row

30 March 2018

Michael Woods Howard Roe
Michael Woods celebrates one of his two goals at Maidstone United.

Michael Woods scored twice as Pools extended their unbeaten run to five games with a brilliant away victory at Maidstone United on Good Friday.

The midfielder netted his 10th and 11th goals of the season before Pools held off a late fightback from The Stones to clinch three crucial points in their battle for safety in the National League.

There was an early indication of how difficult the surface was going to be when Ross Lafayette judged the bounce of a long ball forward to get in down the left but his low shot hit from a tight angle only found the side netting.

Pools responded quickly with Michael Woods able to drive to the byline on the right of the area before dragging a low ball back across for Jake Cassidy but the front man could only divert it just wide of the far post.

A sloppy pass in midfield from Pools inadvertently sent Blair Turgott through on goal but Louis Laing did ever so well to chase back and block the shot so the danger was averted.

Woods was causing problems breaking from midfield and he linked-up brilliantly with Rhys Oates on the edge of the area before driving inside to let fly with a shot which was blocked. It fell out as far as Lewis Hawkins on the right whose stinging low drive from twenty-five yards zipped across the surface and a drew a good save from Lee Worgan.

Pools did have the ball in the net on 21 minutes but a marginal offside call meant that Oates’ neat left-foot finish in to the bottom corner didn’t stand.

However, that disappointed was short-lived. Four minutes later Josh Hawkes threaded an incisive ball in to Oates just inside the area and when his low shot was parried by Worgan, Woods was there to finish first time on his left foot to celebrate his 10th goal of the season.

For a spell the game was scrappy but the hosts finished the first half on top, Will De Havilland hitting a rising drive over the bar before Joe Anderson tested Scott Loach with a well struck drive from the left corner of the box.

Loach was called in to action again in the final minute of the half when Stuart Lewis ran on to a ball on the edge of the area and hit a rasping drive which the Pools keeper did well to tip over the bar and protect the lead.

Maidstone pressed for a leveller at the start of the second half with plenty of possession but little cutting edge; Greg Luer put a shot just wide at the front post after a ball in from the right.

Pools could have doubled their lead on the hour mark after a lovely move down the right involving Woods, Conor Newton and Lewis Hawkins but, when the ball was fed in to Josh Hawkes on the right of the area, his low drive flashed wide of the far post.

Luer then broke through the offside trap to fire powerfully on goal from close range but Loach stormed from his line, made himself big and pulled off a terrific save to keep it at 1-0 to Pools.

Devante Rodney almost made an immediate impact after being introduced from the bench when he scampered on to Nicky Featherstone’s through ball but, having skipped round the keeper, the angle proved too tight and the defender recovered to block his shot.

The home side began ramping up the pressure as the final quarter of an hour approached and Loach was forced to tip another looping header over the bar and another was deflected during a spell of dangerous corners which Pools just about survived.

With two minutes left Pools seemingly  made the points safe when Cassidy was upended in the box by Alex Wynter and Woods made no mistake from the spot, despatching a low finish in to the bottom right-hand corner of the net.

Just as seven minutes of injury time was displayed, the hosts grabbed a lifeline when Lafayette was able to pull a goal back from close-range after Pools failed to clear their lines.

That strike set up a nervy finish and Lafayette could even have levelled when he got on the end of a cross from the left but his header looped too high to trouble Loach and then Wynter drilled wide right at the death.

However, Pools managed to hang on to extend their unbeaten run and leapfrog their hosts in the National League table.

Full Time: Maidstone United 1 Pools 2

Maidstone United: Worgan, Hare, Finney, Wynter, Lewis, Anderson, Reason, Turgott (Loza 78), De Havilland (Paxman 84), Lafayette, Luer (Sam-Yorke 66).
Subs not used: Twumasi, Phillips.

Pools: Loach, Hawkins, Laing, Magnay, Adams, Featherstone, Newton, Hawkes, Woods, Cassidy, Oates (Rodney 66).
Subs not used: Catterick, Owen, Munns, Orrell.

Booked: Cassidy (56).

Attendance: 2,559 (209 Pools).

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Ticket News

Maidstone Tickets Available On The Day

29 March 2018

The Gallagher Stadium Joe Toth (BPI/REX/Shutterstock)
Maidstone United play at the Gallagher Stadium

Here's all the info you need if you want to follow the lads in action at The Gallagher Stadium on Good Friday.

Pools fans will be located in the terracing section of the Genco Stand for the game at The Gallagher Stadium and tickets will be available on the cash-only turnstiles.

There will be some seats available for visiting supporters on the day, each carrying a transfer fee of £2.

Prices
Adults - £15
Seniors (65 and over) - £12
Students (with relevant ID) - £12
Youths (11-16) - £7
Juniors (10 and under) - £2

Wheelchair and ambulant disabled supporters will pay as per their age category and will be eligible for a free carer’s ticket.

There are some viewing spaces for disabled fans available and these can be booked by calling Maidstone United direct on 01622 753 817.

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