We turn our attentions to the weekend's action with a full and in-depth preview of our trip to West Leigh Park.
Havant & Waterlooville v Pools
Saturday 1st September 2018, 3pm
West Leigh Park
Havant & Waterlooville secured their place in the National League by holding off the challenge of Dartford to land the National League South title last term.
It was sealed in dramatic fashion when an 87th-minute goal on the final day of the season earned a 3-2 win over Concord Rangers and meant The Hawks won promotion on goal difference.
Having won promotion two seasons in a row now, 2018/19 is likely to be more about consolidation for Lee Bradbury’s men who currently lie 21st in the National League table.
They earned a first win of the season in a 4-3 thriller at Braintree Town a fortnight ago but confidence may have been dented by Bank Holiday Monday’s 4-0 beating at Bromley.
Whilst they have conceded more goals than they might have liked so far, Havant do look a threat going forward so this weekend’s first meeting between the sides could be an entertaining affair.
Nicke Kabamba has proved a handful up top for Havant & Waterlooville this season since joining the club from Portsmouth during the summer.
The 25-year-old gained senior experience through loan spells with Colchester United and Aldershot Town last term before linking up with Lee Bradbury at West Leigh Park in July.
He has enjoyed a decent start to life with The Hawks too, starting in every game and helping himself to two goals so Pools will know they’ll need to keep tabs on him this weekend.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
Carl Brook will be the man in the middle for our first visit to West Leigh Park as the official takes charge of his second Pools encounter.
Previously he was on the whistle for our televised win over Leyton Orient last September when goals from Jonathan Franks and Rhys Oates saw Pools come from behind to triumph 2-1.
Now in to his third season on the National League list of referees, Brook has had a fiery start to the new campaign, showing three red cards in four games so far.
Join Mark Simpson for full live online commentary of Saturday afternoon’s game on Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.
Pools PlayerHD is available to fans anywhere in the world on any computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone so it’s even easier than ever to stay right up-to-date with the action.
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets Havant & Waterlooville prior to kick-off on the day on the game.
Havant & Waterlooville have been installed as 10/11 favourites for Saturday’s game with Pools available at a price of 12/5 with Sky Bet and the draw ranked at 5/2.