We turn our attentions to Saturday’s action with a full and in-depth preview of Maidstone United’s visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Pools v Maidstone United
Saturday 5th January 2019, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium
Maidstone United arrive at The Super 6 Stadium entrenched in a battle to survive in the National League after a torrid first half to the 2018/19 campaign.
Harry Wheeler arrived to replace long-serving Jay Saunders in The Gallagher Stadium dugout in September following a poor start but the former Billericay boss was unable to arrest the slide.
Continued poor form meant Wheeler left the club last month, with former Pools man Simon Walton linking-up with Tristan Lewis to form a caretaker management team.
A 1-0 win at Boreham Wood in the final game of 2018 was a welcome boost but home defeat to rivals Dover Athletic on New Year’s Day means they remain second bottom, four points from safety.
However, Pools can’t afford to take anything for granted – five of The Stones’ six National League victories this season have come on the road so they will fancy their chances in the North East.
Will De Havilland has been one of the most consistent figures for The Stones this season during a tumultuous campaign which has seen them use 35 different players in the National League already.
The experienced defender has missed only three league games all season and has played more than any other player in the Maidstone squad this term and he could be vital in the coming months.
De Havilland’s leadership and organisation at the back will be crucial as Maidstone look to claw themselves out of the bottom four and away from relegation danger.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the eighth competitive meeting between the sides and Pools have by far the better record in previous head-to-heads having won five to Maidstone’s one.
The only time The Stones have taken three points off Pools was in the sides’ very first encounter in December 1989 when goals from Russell Doig and Paul Baker weren’t enough for Pools in a 4-2 defeat at Watling Street.
After that Pools held the upper hand, winning five games in a row against the Kent outfit - including doing the doubler over them last term – before the sequence ended with a draw on the opening day of the current campaign.
Saturday 4th August 2018
Maidstone United 1 (Turgott pen 41) Pools 1 (Noble 42)
Maidstone United: Worgan, McLennan, De Havilland, Finney, Ofori-Twumasi, Lewis, Turgott, Muldoon (Wynter 89), Phillips (Paxman 62), Quigley (Mullings 69), Loza.
Subs not used: Efete, Richards.
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Kioso, Davies, Magnay, Kitching, Featherstone (Newton 88), Noble, Cassidy, Muir (Hawkes 69), James (Dinanga 80).
Subs not used: Anderson, Woods.
It will be Declan Bourne’s second Pools game this weekend when he’s the man on the whistle for our National League clash with Maidstone United.
Still in his first season on the National League’s list of referees, Bourne previously took charge of Pools for our goalless draw against Barrow on home turf back in September.
He’s refereed 14 games at this level so far and his most recent outing came last Saturday when he oversaw Wrexham’s 1-0 win over Solihull Moors at The Racecourse Ground.
Join Mark Simpson for full live online commentary of Saturday’s game against Maidstone United 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!
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 are rated big 7/10 favourites for three points this weekend, with visitors Maidstone installed at odds of 7/2 and the bookies offering odds of 5/2 on the draw.