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2-1
26 January 2019 Venue Victoria Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Preview: Pools v Braintree Town

25 January 2019

Hartlepool United v Braintree Town Funkee Monkey
Hartlepool United v Braintree Town

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

Pools v Braintree Town
National League
Saturday 24th January 2019, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium

In Opposition
Like Pools, Braintree Town have seen a change in management this week as boss Hakan Hayrettin opted to leave the club to take up a role at Maidstone United.

Assistant Danny Searle has stepped up to the top job at Cressing Road and will have to call upon all of his coaching credentials if he is to help The Iron climb away from relegation trouble.

Town are sitting bottom of the National League table and remain nine points from safety, though last weekend’s 4-0 thrashing of Barnet will have done wonders for morale in the squad.

The Essex outfit have also picked up on the road, collecting four points from their last two away games in the league and they will be hoping to continue that trend at The Super 6 Stadium.

Star Player
Callum Morton fired a hat-trick in last Saturday’s 4-0 trouncing of Barnet at Cressing Road so will be heading for Hartlepool in fine spirits for this weekend’s game.

The teenage hitman joined Braintree on loan from West Brom at the start of December and has proved a real handful for opposition defence in his eight appearances since.

Having lost a reliable source of goals when Mo Bettamer moved to Barnet in November, Town supporters will be hoping last week’s treble is a sign of things to come for the 19-year-old.

Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be just the second competitive meeting between the two clubs after the first ended in a 1-1 draw at Cressing Road in the opening month of the current campaign.

Last Meeting
Tuesday 14th August 2018
Braintree Town 1 (Bettamer 90) Pools 1 (Muir 25)

Braintree Town: Killip, Muleba, Webber, Durojaiye (Della-Verde 68), Clark, Hill (Frimpong 22), Lyons-Foster, Allen, Patterson, Bettamer, Rowe (Rrapaj 55).
Subs not used: Ochieng, Bettache.

Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Magnay, Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Noble (McLaughlin 89), Woods (Newton 68), Muir, James (Cassidy 84).
Subs not used: Laing, Dinanga.

Referee
Rebecca Welch will become the first female referee of a Pools game when she’s on the whistle for Saturday’s encounter with Braintree Town.

Having stepped up from National League North at the start of the current campaign, Welch has solid experience and took charge of the Women’s FA Cup Final in 2017.

Welch has presided over six National League fixtures so far this season, her most recent outing coming in a dramatic 3-3 draw between Chesterfield and Ebbsfleet United during which she flashed her first red card of the season.

Live Coverage
Join Brian Honour and Mark Simpson for full live commentary of Saturday’s game against Braintree Town on Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.

We bring you live coverage of every game on Pools PlayerHD so if you’re unable to get along to The Super 6 Stadium then let us deliver the action to you this weekend!

Pools PlayerHD is available now until the end of June for just £24.99 so click here now for more information about signing-up in time for kick-off this weekend.

Tickets
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.

Betting
Pools have been installed as 8/13 favourites for three points this weekend, while visitors Braintree are a 17/4 shot for victory and the draw is priced at 5/2 with the bookies.

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

Hignett's Pools Pick Up Three Points

26 January 2019

Nicke Kabamba celebrates his goal S Ludlow (Shutter Press)
Nicke Kabamba celebrates his goal against Braintree Town.

Goals from Nicke Kabamba and Josh Hawkes saw Craig Hignett get his new reign as Pools boss off to a winning start.

Braintree Town took the lead late in the first half but Pools fired back quickly after the break when Kabamba headed home. 

And when Pools were awarded a penalty on the hour mark, Josh Hawkes stepped up confidently to fire home the winner. 

The visitors had the first of the chances this afternoon, with Luke Allen firing over after just four minutes and Rob Atkinson heading over from a freekick shortly after.

A Josh Hawkes freekick gave Pools the first glimpse of goal on seven minutes but the ball flashed across the area, with Nicke Kabamba just unable to put the finishing touch on it.

With less than ten minutes gone, the lively Justin Amaluzor fired in a real warning shot, sending a low effort at goal that took a slight deflection to send it against the post and out.

Braintree remained a threat going forward, with Pools showing signs of nerves at the back in the first half.

But Hignett’s side looked bright going forward and played some decent attacking football; Nicky Featherstone intercepted to set up Josh Hakwes from distance but his shot went high over the bar.

Luke Molyneux was a threat down the right for Pools on a couple of occasions, opening things up and setting up shots on goal.

The on-loan winger pushed down the right to cut in and fire in his own powerful drive on goal, only to be denied by Ben Killip in the visiting goal, with a save down to his left.

Molyneux then linked up with Danny Amos in the box to fire in a volley on goal which was bravely blocked out by the defender for a corner.

It was the visitors who opened the scoring through, taking the lead on 39 minutes when Amaluzor finished neatly into the far corner of the net. A freekick just outside of the box was blocked by the Pools wall but it was the visitors who reacted first, lifting the ball over the onrushing Pools players and into the area when Amaluzor made no mistake with his finish to make it 1-0.

So Pools went into the break a goal down but having shown enough to suggest the points were still there to play for.

A change at the break saw Luke James introduced to the action and the energetic forward made a real impact in the second half.

With 52 minutes on the clock, Pools were level as a cross into the box from Danny Amos set the battling Kabamba away and his diving header put the ball past Killip and into the net to make it 1-1. The striker made a big impression on the home fans this afternoon with his non-stop hard work and determination.

Just seven minutes later and it was 2-1 to Hignett’s side; great work from half-time sub Luke James saw him skip past the keeper and deep into the box. When he squared the ball for Kabamba to roll into the empty net, the big striker was flattened by a combination of two defenders and the referee pointed to the spot.

Josh Hawkes stepped up confidently to take the penalty and fired it calmly past Killip and into the middle of the net to give his side the lead.

A corner from Molyneux on 79 minutes gave Pools their best chance of a third as it picked out Ryan Donaldson at the near post but his glancing header put the ball just wide of the target.

And while there were few more chances on goal in the second half, Pools worked hard for the win and deserved the three points to get Hignett's managerial role off to a winning start.

Full Time: Pools 2 Braintree Town 1

Attendance: 2769 (25 Braintree Town)

Booked: Kabamba (42), Anderson (72)

Pools: Loach, Richardson (James 46), Kioso, Raynes, Anderson, Amos (Kitching 73), Featherstone, Donaldson, Molyneux, Hawkes, Kabamba (Cassidy 82).
Subs Not Used: Catterick, Muir.

Braintree Town: Killips, Eleftheriou, Lyons-Foster, Gabriel, Atkinson, Allen, Richards (Della-Verde 62) James, Rowe (Barrington 74), Morton, Amaluzor.
Subs Not Used: Matsuzaka, Allen, Sagaf.

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