We put tomorrow's game with Colchester United under the spotlight for our first match preview of 2016/17.
Hartlepool United v Colchester United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 6th August 2016
Colchester United are back in the fourth tier of English football for the first time in almost twenty years, following their relegation to League Two last season.
The U’s had been teetering on the brink of the League One trapdoor for the last three season but they were unable to escape the drop last term and parted company with boss Kevin Keen as a result.
Former Tranmere Rovers and Ipswich Town star John McGreal was appointed as Keen’s successor, stepping up from his role as head of the club’s successful Under-21s side.
The Essex outfit will stick to the philosophy of developing their own talent having brought seen several youngsters graduate to the First Team in recent years.
However, McGreal will still be expected to help The U’s mount a serious attempt at winning promotion back to the higher level at the first attempt this season.
The U’s Number One has become a fans’ favourite as The Weston Homes Community Stadium after performing consistently well since arriving at the club – initially on loan – from Chelsea.
Walker enjoyed a series of loan moves whilst on the books at Stamford Bridge, joining Colchester for the second half of the 2012/13 campaign before returning on a season-long deal the following year.
Having been an ever-present in 2013/14 his loan turned permanent that summer and he missed only two games the next season. Injury frustrated him last term but now he’s back to full fitness and is likely to be first choice again under John McGreal.
Hartlepool United 0 Colchester United 0
Sky Bet League One
Tuesday 5th March 2013
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Baldwin (Luscombe 31), Humphreys, Walton (Sweeney 90), Franks (Howard 80), Poole, Wyke.
Subs not used: McHugh, Holden, Monkhouse, James.
Colchester United: Walker, Garmston, Okuonghae, Eastman, Wilson, Clifford (White 81), Morrison (Ladapo 66), Bond, Ibehre (s/o 44), Massey, Porter (Thompson 74).
Subs not used: Cousins, Wright, Bean, Compton.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 59th competitive meeting between the two sides and Colchester have enjoyed the better fortune having won 25 times in comparison to Pools’ 19.
The U’s have also had the better of it in terms of recent encounters; they’re unbeaten against Pools in the last five, having won two and drawn two of the last four.
Paul Tierney will be in charge of his first Pools game since October 2014 when he is on the whistle for Saturday’s season-opener at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
The official last visited Pools for a 2-1 defeat to Luton Town but was also here to see us draw 0-0 with Portsmouth in November 2013 and beat Yeovil Town 3-1 in April 2011.
Pools PlayerHD will carry live and uninterrupted online commentary of Saturday’s game as Brian Honour joins Mark Simpson in the press box from 2.50pm.
Fans all over the world can access the live broadcast so if you can’t get along to the game then make sure to join the lads on Pools PlayerHD to keep up to date.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets for all areas of the ground for Saturday’s game remain on sale from the Club’s Ticket Office up to kick-off, while online sales will end at 12noon on Friday 5th August.
Two new cash-only Matchday Ticket Offices are opening for the first time this weekend – one is situated on the Clarence Road side of the Prostate Cancer UK Stand and the other is on the Niramax Stand. These will open at 1pm and remain open until kick-off.
Fans wishing to make card purchases of tickets must report to the main Ticket Office.
Pools have been installed as 6/4 favourites for victory on Saturday, with Colchester priced just behind at 9/5 and the draw rated a 23/10 shot with our friends at Sky Bet.