We look ahead to this evening's Checkatrade Trophy game against Notts County with a full preview of the action at Meadow Lane.
Notts County v Hartlepool United
Checkatrade Trophy Group Stage
Wednesday 31st August 2016
Notts County followed up their 2-1 triumph over Pools at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium a fortnight ago by winning 3-1 at Crawley Town at the weekend.
The result lifted them up to 11th in the League Two table and installed further confidence in to the ranks after what had previously been a slow start to the new campaign.
The Magpies have back-to-back home games coming up in the league so will see this patch of fixtures as a real chance to build some momentum, though boss John Sheridan could be tempted to make changes to his line-up for the Checkatrade Trophy outing.
Jon Stead is not only a man in form at the moment but he has also taken a liking to scoring against Pools in recent seasons – finding the net in each of the last three meetings.
The former Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland front man was on the scoresheet for a fourth game in a row when he converted from the penalty spot in County’s 3-1 success at Crawley Town on Saturday.
Now 33, Stead will be hoping to keep his goal rush going at Pools expense this evening if John Sheridan hands him a start in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Hartlepool United 1 (Nsiala 8)
Notts County 2 (Laing 65, Stead 76)
Saturday 20th August 2016
Pools: Carson, Magnay (Richards 22), Nsiala, Bates, Carroll, Alessandra, Featherstone, Woods (Laurent 86), Thomas, Amond, Paynter (Hawkins 70).
Subs not used: Bartlett, Jones, Deverdics, Oates.
Notts County: Collin, Tootle, Duffy, Laing, Dickinson, Forte (Oliver 61), O’Connor, Aborah (Smith 62), Rodman, Campbell, Stead (Audel 93).
Subs not used: Loach, Hollis, Snijders, Burke.
Head To Head
Down the years this fixture has been known for going with home advantage – thought that is a trend being challenged by Notts County after their second successive triumph in Hartlepool earlier this month.
The Magpies have now won on the last three occasions the sides have met so will hope to make it four in a row at Meadow Lane on Wednesday evening.
Overall, it’s County who have edged it historically having won 14 times in comparison to Pools’ 12 triumphs though Pools have emerged victorious on the two occasions the teams have met in a cup competition.
Darren England will be in charge of his third Pools game this evening when he is the man on the whistle for our visit to Meadow Lane.
The official also oversaw our last trip to Notts County back in April when Jon Stead’s goal was enough to hand The Magpies a 1-0 victory.
Prior to that, his only other Pools engagement came on the opening day of last season when he was The Vic for our 2-0 win over Morecambe.
England’s most recent outing came last Tuesday evening when he was in charge of Derby County’s dramatic penalty shootout win over Carlisle United in the EFL Cup.
Pools PlayerHD will be providing live online commentary of tonight’s game so if you can’t get along to Meadow Lane then make sure you join us for full coverage.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets for this game will be available to Pools fans on the turnstiles prior to kick-off at Meadow Lane.
Notts County have been installed as 21/20 favourites to win the game, while Pools are rated a 23/10 shot and the draw is also priced at 23/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.