We turn our attentions to the weekend as we bring you a full in-depth preview of Saturday's game at Victoria Park.
Sky Bet League Two
Hartlepool United v Mansfield Town
Saturday 21st March 2015
Mansfield Town arrive at Victoria Park knowing that another win or two should just about cement their place in League Two after a burst of form carried them away from the bottom two.
As recently as the end of January it looked as though The Stags were going to be embroiled in a battle for survival when a 2-1 defeat at Carlisle United dumped them in to the relegation zone.
However, five victories since the start of February have given them some breathing space and Tuesday night’s 2-1 triumph over AFC Wimbledon moved them up to 16th in the table.
Friday 26th December 2014
Mansfield Town 1 (Brown 10)
Hartlepool United 1 (Duckworth 51)
Mansfield Town: Evtimov, Sutton, Tafazolli, Freeman, Waterfall, McGuire, Lambe (Riley 75), Brown, Clements, Rhead (Bingham 78), Oliver.
Subs not used: Studer, Beevers, Bell, Heslop, Palmer.
Hartlepool United: Flinders, Austin, Bates, Jones, Holden, Franks, Woods, Featherstone, Duckworth, Harewood, Ironside (Fenwick 78).
Subs not used: Maxted, Lanzoni, Walker, Compton, Schmeltz, Green.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 85th competitive encounter between the two sides in a head-to-head record which stretches back as far as December 1932.
The teams shared the points in a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day and did similar over the course of two games last season – Pools winning 4-1 at Mansfield in October 2013 before The Stags gained revenge in a 4-2 success at The Vic last March.
It’s a fixture which can usually be relied upon to provide goals – there has only ever been one 0-0 draw between the teams and on sixteen occasions it has produced five or more goals.
Mansfield Town: LWWDLW
Ronnie Moore has no new injury worries ahead of Saturday’s game and must decide whether to stick with an unchanged starting eleven following back-to-back away victories.
Darren Handley will take charge of only his second-ever Pools game when he’s the man in the middle for Saturday’s fixture at Victoria Park.
He proved his worth during a six-year stint refereeing in the Conference and was promoted to the Football League list at the start of the current campaign.
The official’s only other previous game in charge of Pools came in September when he oversaw our 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers at The Vic.
Pools have slashed ticket prices for Saturday’s game as part of our Pack The Park initiative – seating prices are £12 for adults and £6 for concessions, while standing is £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Pools legend Brian Honour will be part of our commentary team on Pools Player for live coverage of the game against Mansfield Town online from 2.50pm on Saturday.
Click here now to sign-up to Pools Player and access the live commentary wherever you are on the planet.
Pools have been installed as 7/5 favourites for three points this weekend, with visitors Mansfield rated a 9/5 shot and the draw priced at 12/5 with our partners at Sky Bet.
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