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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

23 February 2019 Venue Victoria Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Vanarama National League

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Match Previews

Preview: Pools v Bromley

22 February 2019

Hartlepool United v Bromley Funkee Monkey
Hartlepool United v Bromley

We turn our attentions to Saturday’s action with a full and in-depth preview of Bromley’s visit to The Super 6 Stadium.

Pools v Bromley
National League
Saturday 23rd February 2019, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium

In Opposition
Bromley find themselves one place above Pools in the National League table ahead of Saturday’s game at The Super 6 Stadium but only goal difference separates the two rivals.

Neil Smith’s side have put together a much improved run of form since December to pull themselves clear of a potential relegation battle and now sit much more comfortably in the middle ground.

Having now firmly established themselves in the fifth tier following promotion as Champions of National League South in 2014/15, The Ravens will be hoping for a positive finish to the campaign.

As well as reaching the FA Trophy Final, they finished ninth last season so they will be aiming to get as close to that again this term if they can continue the momentum built up in recent months.

Star Player
JJ Hooper has been the man to watch since he joined Bromley on loan from League Two outfit Grimsby Town at the start of December.

His arrival has coincided with an upturn in results for the Hayes Lane side, and his seven goals in 10 National League game has been a big factor in that improvement.

The former Newcastle United youngster hit the net fairly regularly during spells at Havant & Waterlooville and then Port Vale and is back among the goals since signing for The Ravens.

Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be just the fourth meeting between the two sides and Bromley and the previous three have all gone with home advantage.

The Ravens inflicted Pools’ heaviest defeat of the season when they travelled to Hayes Lane earlier in the season, running out 4-0 winners on an afternoon to forget for Matthew Bates’ men.

However, they were beaten when they made the trip to the North-East last season, goals from Josh Hawkes and Michael Woods enough to secure a 2-1 win for Pools.

Last Meeting
Saturday 3rd November 2018
Bromley 4 (Sutherland pen 12, pen 78, Bugiel 63, Porter 85) Pools 0

Bromley: Gregory, Johnson, Holland, Wood, Brindley, Raymond, Mekki (Goodman 74), Sutherland, Bugiel (De Silva 86), Porter, Quigley (Ogedi-Uzokwe 60).
Subs not used: Rooney, Goddard.

Pools: Loach, Kioso (s/o 77), Kitching (Newton 46), Magnay, Anderson (Hawkes 68), Noble, Donaldson, Featherstone, McLaughlin, Muir (James 58), Dinanga.
Subs not used: Richardson, Murphy.

It will be Gareth Rhodes’ second Pools game of the season when he is the man in the middle for our National League contest against Bromley this weekend.

His only previous visit to The Super 6 Stadium came back in October when two goals from Andrew Davies saw Pools run out 2-0 winners over Boreham Wood.

Rhodes in his first season on the National League’s list of referees and his most recent appointment came at the back end of January when he watched Wrexham’s 1-0 home win over Maidenhead United.

Live Coverage
Brian Honour will be back alongside Mark Simpson in the commentary box this weekend to provide live commentary of the game on Pools PlayerHD.

The pair will be on-air from 2.50pm to set the scene from the ground and run you through all the breaking team news ahead of kick-off.

Click here now to join Pools PlayerHD’s live commentary which is available all over the world.

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.

Click here for more information on buying tickets for games at The Super 6 Stadium.

Pools have been installed as 13/10 favourites for three points this weekend, with visitors Bromley just behind at 15/8 and the draw available at a price of 21/10.

Click here now to take a look at all the latest odds and price boosts with our friends at Sky Bet.

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Match Reports

Pools Fall To Bromley Defeat

23 February 2019

Nicke Kabamba Mark Fletcher, Shutter Press
Nicke Kabamba in action against Bromley

Pools fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Bromley at The Super 6 Stadium this afternoon, the first loss in Craig Hignett's latest spell as Manager.

But while the Pools boss will be disappointed with the result, much of the post-match discussion will centre around the performance not of either team, but of the match officials.

Pools started the game brightly and had an early chance to open things up when Ryan Donaldson and Niko Muir combined to set up Josh Hawkes for a shot from distance. The youngster fired in low on goal but was denied by a good save from visiting keeper David Gregory.

Aaron Cunningham rose well to meet the following corner but his header went just wide of the far post.

Bromley had their fair share of possession early on without really testing Scott Loach but it was Pools who looked a bigger threat going forward for a spell.

A Liam Noble freekick in from the right picked out Peter Kioso in the box but the defender saw his headed effort go wide of target. Josh Hawkes tried his luck with a low effort from distance but his shot bobbled the wrong side of the post.

Kioso made a good interception at one end to deny Omar Bugiel from playing in Luke Coulson and then lifted a pacy ball over the top for Nicke Kabamba to chase. The on-loan striker did well to get a touch on the ball but it bounced up off the defender and out for a corner.

On the half-hour mark, the visitors made their attack count as they took the lead through Marc-Anthony Okoye; a long throw from George Porter on the left was cleared only as far out as Okoye at the near post and he executed a neat half-volley to send the ball past Loach and into the opposite corner of the net.

And from then on in, the visitors looked strongest; there was a let-off for Pools on 40 minutes as Bromley broke forward leaving Cunningham with two men to cover but fortunately JJ Hooper mis-controlled his pass and the ball went out of play.

Pools were not so lucky with the visitors’ next attack as Luke Coulson broke through to lift a lovely effort over Loach and into the back of the net to make it 2-0 on the stroke of half time.

Scott Loach made a good save just before the break to deny the visitors a third goal, and the Pools keeper was back in action quickly after the re-start as he got down well to block from Porter from close range on 50 minutes.

The match officials’ influence on the game continued into the second half, with frustration at the range of decisions growing both on the pitch and in the stands.

Omar Bugiel fired a shot high over the bar from just six yards out when the visitors looked set to make it 3-0 on the hour mark.

But it was Pools who had the majority of the possession and Hignett went all-out attack to try and push his side back into the game.

There was pressure on the visiting goal with 15 minutes left as Pools put bodies into the box but as the ball bobbled around, no one could get a clear shot away and Bromley were able to clear.

While Pools did have the possession, they struggled to find a way past Bromley who were well organised and sitting deep in numbers to defend their lead.

Nicke Kabamba came desperately close to getting a goal on 86 minutes when Luke Molyneux got free down the left to cross into the box but despite going out at full stretch, the big striker just couldn’t make contact and the ball rolled across the face of goal.

Liam Noble fired home from distance to make it 2-1 mid-way through six minutes of added time at the end of the game but it just came too late to make a difference and the game finished in defeat.

Full Time: Pools 1 Bromley 2

Attendance: 2985 (55 Bromley)

Booked: Cunningham (10), Kioso (61), Kabamba (88)

Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Cunningham (Kitching 66), Anderson, Amos (Molyneux 46), Featherstone, Noble, Hawkes, Muir (Hawkins 79), Kabamba.
Subs Not Used: Richardson, Scott.

Bromley: Gregory, Sutherland, Raymond, Bugiel (Higgs 71), Okoye, Goodman, Porter (Philpott 86), Wood, Brindley, Coulson, Hooper (Johnson 90).
Subs Not Used: Sarpong-Wiredu, Dunne.

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