We turn our attentions to the weekend's action with a full and in-depth preview of our League Two trip to Exeter City.
Exeter City v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 13th August 2016
After an opening day defeat at Blackpool, Exeter City bounced back in style by knocking Championship outfit Brentford out of the EFL Cup in midweek.
The Grecians remain in safe hands under the guidance of Paul Tisdale, who is the longest-serving manager in the EFL having been at the St James’ Park helm since the summer of 2006.
Last term they proved hard to beat on home soil, tasting defeat just six times in the league. If they can find a way of turning some of the 11 home draws in to victories then they could have a say in the play-off picture this time around.
Ethan Ampadu created Exeter City history on Tuesday night when he became the club’s youngest-ever player at the tender age of just 15 years, 10 months and 26 days.
The son of former West Brom, Swansea and Exeter midfielder Kwame Ampadu, he won the Man of the Match display on his debut after a stirring performance in the 1-0 win over Brentford.
The versatile starlet, who can play anywhere in midfield or defence, is reportedly being tracked by a host of higher division clubs and was given the nod for his Grecians bow because he’s on his school holidays.
Hartlepool United 0
Exeter City 2 (Nicholls 36, Grant 85)
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 30th January 2016
Pools: Carson, Richards, Harrison, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone (Paynter 65), Woods (Magnay 65), Hawkins, Gray, Bingham, Oates (Thomas 33).
Subs not used: Bartlett, D Jones, Walker, Fenwick.
Exeter City: Olejnik, McAllister, Ribeiro, Tillson, Brown, Oakley, Holmes (Davies 60), McCready, Grant (Taylor 86), Nicholls (Reid 89), Stockley.
Subs not used: Hamon, Butterfield, Wheeler, Watkins.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 81st competitive meeting between the two sides and Exeter City have enjoyed the edge, having won 34 times in comparison to Pools’ 24 victories.
The Grecians did the league double over Pools last term, gaining revenge for having the same done to them in the previous campaign – which, of course, included the crucial 2-1 victory to complete the ‘Great Escape’.
Last season’s defeat at St James’ Park brought to an end a run of four unbeaten in Devon with Pools having won convincingly there in both 2013/14 and 2014/15.
Mark Heywood will take charge of his seventh Pools game this weekend when he is the man on the whistle for our trip to Exeter City.
He last officiated a Pools fixture back in October last year when he sent-off Scott Harrison in our 2-1 defeat at home to Crawley Town.
It’s fair to say that Heywood hasn’t brought Pools the best of luck overall – in the previous six games he’s refereed us we’ve picked up just a single point.
You can listen to full live online commentary of Saturday’s game against Exeter City by joining Mark Simpson on Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.
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 St James’ Park.
Exeter City have been installed as 21/20 favourites for three points this weekend, with Pools out at 11/4 for the win and a draw priced at 23/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.