We turn our attentions to Saturday’s action with a full and in-depth preview of Havant & Waterlooville’s visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Pools v Havant & Waterlooville
Saturday 22nd December 2018, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium
Havant & Waterlooville are looking to continue their recent success story by establishing themselves at National League level this term on the back of two consecutive promotions.
Lee Bradbury has overseen a rapid rise in fortunes for the Hampshire outfit who were surprisingly relegated from National League South in 2015/16 before responding in spectacular fashion to roar back to the fifth tier with two titles in a row.
Their first season at National League level started in tricky fashion but they seem to have gained a foothold recently, with confidence building on the back of a 7-0 thrashing of Maidenhead United and an impressive 5-2 defeat of Maidstone United.
Away from home they’ve been a little vulnerable defensively at times but they lie 19th in the table on the back of a run of four wins from seven as they prepare for their first-ever visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Alfie Rutherford has quickly got right among the goals for Havant & Waterlooville since being recalled from a loan spell at Eastbourne Borough at the end of October.
The young front man has fired nine National League goals in just 13 appearances this term, including a double in their 2-1 win over Braintree Town a fortnight ago.
A former Porstmouth youngster who was lured to Westleigh Park in the summer of 2016 after enjoying a particularly prolific spell with rivals Bognor Regis Town.
Pools will need to keep Rutherford quite on Saturday – if for no other reason than The Hawks have won every game in which he’s scored this season.
Head To Head
Saturday will be just the second competitive meeting between the two clubs, with the first coming back at the start of September when Pools ran out 2-1 winners at Westleigh Park.
The victory came in dramatic circumstances too as Liam Noble’s last-gasp penalty secured all three points after Ryan Woodford’s 83rd-minute header had cancelled out the midfielder’s first half spot-kick.
Saturday 1st September 2018
Havant & Waterlooville 1 (Woodford 83) Pools 2 (Noble pen 23, pen 90)
Havant & Waterlooville: Young, Harris, Rose (Woodford 46), Robinson, Williams (Sekajja 73), Stock, Fogden, Lewis (Rutherford 60), Tarbuck, Carter, Kabamba.
Subs not used: Cosgrove, Pavey.
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Magnay, Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Woods (McLaughlin 56), Noble (Newton 90), Muir, James (Dinanga 73).
Subs not used: Richardson, Hawkes.
Simon Mathe will be on the whistle at The Super 6 Stadium for the second time this season when he takes charge of our weekend encounter with Havant & Waterlooville.
The official was also in the middle when we defeated Maidenhead United 2-1 here back in the opening month of the campaign.
Mather has overseen nine National League game so far this term with his most recent outing coming at The Proact Stadium at the end of November when he saw Chesterfield draw 1-1 with Bromley.
Brian Honour will be once again alongside Mark Simpson for full live commentary of Saturday’s game on Pools PlayerHD.
You can join the duo live from 2.50pm when they’ll set the scene from The Super 6 Stadium, run you through all the breaking team news and then describe the action as it unfolds.
Fans can purchase tickets in advance from The Super 6 Stadium Ticket Office which is open from 12noon until kick-off on Saturday.
We’ll also be opening a Matchday Ticket Office behind the EDC Neale Cooper Stand at 1.30pm for fans to go along and buy their tickets.
Pools have been installed as 5/6 favourites for three points in Richard Money’s first game in charge, with The Hawks rated a 29/10 shot for the win and a draw priced up at 12/5.