We turn our attentions to the weekend with a full and in-depth preview of Saturday's game against Cambridge United.
Hartlepool United v Cambridge United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 10th December 2016
Cambridge United arrive in the North-East buoyed by a strong run of form which has carried them away from the bottom of the table and in to contention for the top seven.
The U’s have won back-to-back in the league in recent weeks and also thumped Coventry City 4-0 in the FA Cup Second Round last Sunday to further boost to confidence.
Shaun Derry’s men suffered a slow start to the campaign but the form began to turn towards the end of September and they now tasted defeat just four times in their last 16 outings in all competitions.
Luke Berry grabbed all the headlines last weekend as Cambridge United swept Coventry City aside at The Abbey Stadium with the midfielder scoring all the goals in their impressive 4-0 triumph.
After coming through the ranks with The U’s, Berry moved away to Barnsley in 2014 but returned to the club last summer and has quickly become one of their key players once again.
The 24-year-old has now helped himself to 12 goals in all competitions so far this season, including a brace in their last league outing as Cheltenham Town were beaten 3-1 a fortnight ago.
Cambridge United 1 (Williamson 90)
Pools 1 (Gray 71)
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 23rd January 2016
Cambridge United: Norris, Roberts, Legge, Page, Furlong, Berry, Dunne, Ahearne-Grant (Dunk 54), Ledson (Donaldson 71), Simpson (Corr 63), Williamson.
Subs not used: Beasant, Omozusi, Coulsen, Horne.
Pools: Carson, Richards, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Gray, Oates (D Jones 89), E Harrison (Bingham 34).
Subs not used: Bartlett, Thomas, Walker, Smith, Fenwick.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 39th competitive meeting between the two sides and Cambridge have the better record having won on 18 occasions in comparison to Pools’ seven victories.
Last season both games between the sides ended all-square, which has been the way of it in recent years with five out of the last nine encounters being draws.
The U’s last win at The Vic came back in April 1997 and since then they have made four visits without taking home maximum points.
It will Carl Boyeson’s 25th time in charge of a Pools game when he’s the man in the middle for our clash with Cambridge United this weekend.
The experienced official last oversaw a Pools fixture back in April when he had the pleasure of witnessing our brilliant 5-2 win at Morecambe.
Boyeson also brought us luck towards the end of the 2014/15 campaign when he was on the whistle for that crucial and dramatic win over Exeter City which confirmed the Great Escape.
Pools PlayerHD will carry live and uninterrupted online commentary of Saturday’s game with Mark Simpson and Brian Honour 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 will remain on sale up until kick-off from the Club’s Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road.
Two cash-only Matchday Ticket Offices will be open – 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 1.15pm and remain open until kick-off.
Fans wishing to make card purchases of tickets must report to the main Ticket Office.
Click here for full details on buying tickets for this game.
Pools are rated a 15/8 shot for all three points this weekend, with visitors Cambridge installed as 7/5 favourites and the draw priced at 23/10 with our friends at Sky Bet.