We turn our attentions to this evening's Sky Bet League Two action with a full preview of our trip to Crewe Alexandra.
Crewe Alexandra v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Tuesday 16th August 2016
Crewe Alexandra will have their sights set on an instant return to League One this season after making an encouraging start following last term’s relegation.
Boss Steve Davis came under criticism from supporters as Alex fell down to League Two for the first time since 2011/12 but he has guided the club to an unbeaten start to the new campaign.
After opening up with an eye-catching win at Stevenage, The Railwaymen then went to Bramall Lane and knocked Sheffield United out of the EFL Cup before gaining a creditable point from a 0-0 draw against promotion contenders Portsmouth.
With two long-haul away trips to Newport County and Cheltenham Town on the horizon, Crewe will be hoping to make the most of Pools’ visit to The Alexandra Stadium by continuing their unbeaten run.
Ryan Lowe returned for a third spell with Crewe Alexandra during the summer and got his latest stint off to the perfect start by scoring in the 2-1 opening day win at Stevenage before grabbing both goals in their 2-1 EFL Cup triumph at Sheffield United.
The veteran front man, who turns 38 next month, was previously with Crewe between 2006 and 2008 before returning for a brief loan spell from Bury last November.
Lowe now has an impressive 205 senior goals to his name and if he is in the Alex line-up this evening he will be making his 500th professional start.
Hartlepool United 3 (Wyke 27, Franks 40, Monkhouse 90)
Crewe Alexandra 0
Tuesday 26th February 2013
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Horwood, Baldwin, Hartley, Humphreys, Walton (Monkhouse 28), Franks, Poole (Luscombe 82), Wyke.
Subs not used: McHugh, Holden, Rutherford, James, Howard.
Crewe Alexandra: Phillips, Ellis, Dugdale, Mellor, Robertson, Murphy, Osman, Inman (Pogba 50), Leitch-Smith (Colclough 80), Moore, Aneke (Clayton 72).
Subs not used: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Turton.
Head To Head
Tonight’s game will be the 133rd competitive meeting between the two sides but the first in the basement division since the 1980s.
Pools have had the edge historically having won 62 times in comparison to Crewe’s 46, though Pools have tasted victory just once in the last six encounters.
Ben Toner will take charge of his fourth Pools game tonight when he is on the whistle for our trip to The Alexandra Stadium.
The last occasion was back in February when he officiated our 2-1 home defeat to Stevenage which proved to be Ronnie Moore’s last game in charge of Pools.
Toner also oversaw our 1-0 win over Newport County last August and our FA Cup win over East Thurrock United in 2014/15.
You can listen to full live commentary of tonight’s game in the company of Mark Simpson and Jeff Winter on Pools PlayerHD from 7.35pm.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets are no longer available in advance for this fixture but fans will be able to buy them prior to kick-off at The Alexandra Stadium.
Crewe Alexandra are rated 6/4 favourites for three points this evening with Pools available at odds of 9/5 and the draw priced at 23/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.