We turn our attentions to the FA Cup with a full and in-depth preview of Kidsgrove Athletic's visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Pools v Kidsgrove Athletic
Emirates FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round
Saturday 20th October 2018, 3pm
The Super 6 Stadium
Kidsgrove Athletic have already upset the odds to make it through to the Fourth Qualifying Round of the FA Cup for just the second time in their history.
They’ve seen off Ramsbottom United, Atherton and Mossley before pulling off a shock by defeating Workington in a dramatic replay which went to extra-time.
The Grove are also going well in the Evo-Stik West Division and currently occupy a play-off place under player-boss Ryan Austin who has assembled a talented squad.
The Staffordshire outfit will travel to the North-East on Friday to prepare for their visit to The Super 6 Stadium and look set to be backed by up to 300 fans – more than double their average home attendance this term.
Ant Malbon is Club Captain and has been Athletic’s top scorer for the last four seasons so it’s no surprise to learn that he is a massive fans’ favourite at The Novus Stadium.
The 26-year-old has now hit the net over 100 times in less than 170 appearances and smashed 28 goals last term despite being injured for a large section of the campaign.
A former Kidderminster Harriers forward, Malbon is already well in to double figures again in 2018/19 and is also capable of providing chances for the players around him.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the first time the two teams have ever met in competitive action.
Tom Reeves will be in charge of a Pools fixture for the first time this weekend when he’s the man in the middle for our FA Cup tie with Kidsgrove Athletic.
A new official added to the National League’s list of referees for this season, Reeves has overseen six games at that level so far during 2018/19.
His last appointment came in mid-September when he was on the whistle for Braintree Town’s win over Gateshead at The International Stadium.
As usual, we'll have live online commentary of Saturday's game on Pools PlayerHD with Mark Simpson from 2.50pm.
Brian Honour is away but Mark will be joined by another special guest for the coverage which will be available to Pools fans all over the world.
There will be no cash turnstiles for home fans on Saturday though fans will be able to pay by card at Turnstiles 3 and 7 on the EDC Neale Coooper Stand and Turnstiles 3 and 6 on the Prestige Group Cyril Knowles Stand.
Fans can also purchase tickets in advance from The Super 6 Stadium Ticket Office which will be open from 10am until kick-off on Saturday.
We’ll also be opening a Matchday Ticket Office behind the EDC Neale Cooper Stand from 1.30pm for fans to go along and buy their tickets.
Both sides are permitted to name seven substitutes in the FA Cup, though only three are allowed to be used.
In a change to the disciplinary procedure this season, yellow cards picked up in the FA Cup won’t be added to those picked up in the National League.
Instead, there is competition-specific sanctioning which means a player will serve a one-game suspension for every two yellow cards picked up in the FA Cup.
Red cards are unaffected and are not competition-specific.
If the tie ends in a draw then it will go to a replay which will be played at The Novus Stadium on Wednesday 24th October (7.45pm kick-off).
Pools have been installed as 2/7 favourites to progress on Saturday, with Kidsgrove rated a 17/2 shot and the bookies giving offs of 4/1 on tie going to a replay.