We turn our attentions to the final action of 2018 with a full and in-depth preview of the National League trip to The Proact Stadium.
Chesterfield v Pools
Saturday 29th December, 3pm
The Proact Stadium
Chesterfield’s struggles since being relegated to the National League reached a head on Thursday when the announcement was made that they had parted ways with boss Martin Allen.
It all looked so promising for The Spireites when they roared out of the blocks by winning their first three games of the season without so much as conceding a goal.
However, things started to unravel after that and they didn’t taste league victory again until the start of this month when they sprung a surprise by defeating promotion-chasing Salford City 2-0.
That win was followed-up by a 5-1 FA Cup triumph over Basford United but they were then beaten 3-1 at Leyton Orient before Boxing Day’s humbling 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Solihull Moors.
That proved the final straw as far as Allen was concerned and John Pemberton will be in temporary charge for Pools’ visit to The Proact Stadium on Saturday.
Alex Kiwomya has been in eye-catching form since joining Chesterfield on loan from League One outfit Doncaster Rovers in October.
The 22-year-old scored both goals as The Spireites stunned Salford earlier this month and his pace can be a real handful in the final third.
Kiwomya found the net against Pools when in the colours of Crewe Alexandra at the start of the 2016/17 campaign so Richard Money’s men will need to keep tabs on him if he battles back from injury in time to feature on Saturday.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 91st competitive meeting between the two sides and Chesterfield have the edge historically having won 42 times in comparison to Pools’ 35 triumphs.
Pools did run out winners when the sides last went head-to-head back in August when a brilliant goal from Nicky Featherstone and some determined defending ensured a 1-0 victory at The Super 6 Stadium.
The weekend will see Pools make a fourth visit to Chesterfield’s new stadium – we’ve won one, drawn one and lost one in our previous three encounters there.
Monday 27th August 2018
Pools 1 (Featherstone 17) Chesterfield 0
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Magnay, Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Noble, Woods (McLaughlin 74), Muir (Dinanga 89), James.
Subs not used: Laing, Newton, Cassidy.
Chesterfield: Burton, Evans (Reid 33), Nelson, Hollis, Talbot, Weston, Weir (Fortune 60), Rowley, Muggleton (Shaw 74), Ugwu, Hines.
Subs not used: Barry, Maguire.
David Richardson will take charge of his first National League game of the 2018/19 season when he’s on the whistle for our visit to The Proact Stadium this weekend.
The official has been on the National League’s list of referees for three seasons now but is yet to be in the middle for a fixture this term.
He has overseen one Pools game in the past when he was at The Vic for our 2-1 defeat to Maidenhead United just before Christmas last year.
Fans all over the world can stay in touch with the action on Saturday by joining Mark Simpson on Pools PlayerHD for full live online commentary from 2.50pm.
Tickets are available in advance from The Super 6 Stadium Ticket Office until 3pm on Friday and after that they will also be on sale at Chesterfield’s Away Ticket Office from 12.30pm on matchday. There are no cash turnstiles.
Chesterfield have been installed as 13/10 favourites for the victory, while Pools look decent value at 2/1 and the bookies are also offering a price of 2/1 on the game ending all-square.