We look ahead to Friday night's action with a full and in-depth preview of Morecambe's League Two visit to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium.
Hartlepool United v Morecambe
Sky Bet League Two
Friday 30th December 2016
Any drama off the pitch was cast to one side on Boxing Day as Morecambe won impressively on the road at Mansfield Town to move 18th in the League Two table.
It was just a second win in eight outings in all competitions but showed that Jim Bentley’s men have spirit against the backdrop of some uncertainty behind the scenes at The Globe Arena.
The Shrimps enjoyed an outstanding start to the current campaign when four wins from their first five league games saw them sit top of the pile going in to September.
However, victories have been harder to come by since then but their Boxing Day triumph at The One Call Stadium is certain to have boosted confidence ahead of their trip to the North-East.
Amidst some injury and suspension problems, Barry Roche has remained a constant in the Morecambe line-up and the veteran goalkeeper is their only ever-present in the league this term.
Now 34, the experienced keeper has moved in to his ninth season at The Globe Arena and has now made almost 400 appearances for the Club.
Roche will be hoping for better fortune against Pools this time around after being sent-off when the sides last met in April when Pools won 5-2 at Morecambe.
Morecambe 2 (Kenyon 25, Barkhuizen 87)
Pools 5 (Woods 4, Thomas 6, 50, James pen 76, Oates 89)
Saturday 9th April 2016
Morecambe: Roche (s/o 74), Beeley, Edwards, Molyneux (Stockton 56), Parrish, Conlan (McGowan 46), Kenyon, Ellison, Goodall, Barkhuizen, Miller (Oliver 80).
Subs not used: Doyle, Devitt, Bailey, Mullin.
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Jackson, R Jones, Carroll, Woods (Walker 70), Featherstone, Hawkins, Thomas (Oates 69), Gray (Laurent 64), James.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Richards, Duckworth, Bingham.
Head To Head
Friday evening’s game will be just the eighth competitive meeting between the sides, with the first coming as recently as 2007 in the FL Trophy.
Last season Pools did the double over The Shrimps, backing up their solid 2-0 win on the opening day by putting five past them in the return game at The Globe Arena in April.
Overall Pools have a good record in this fixture having only lost twice in the previous seven meetings, while they have failed to score on just one occasion.
Seb Stockbridge will make his second visit of the season to The Northern Gas and Power Stadium when he is the man in the middle for our game against Morecambe.
The official was also in charge in September, showing a red card to Pools midfielder Nicky Featherstone as we drew 1-1 with Luton Town.
Stockbridge was also on the whistle for both of our games against York City last season as we completed a league double over The Minstermen.
Fans all over the world can access live online commentary of Friday night’s game by joining Mark Simpson and Brian Honour on Pools PlayerHD from 7.35pm.
Click here now for full 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 situation on the Clarence Road side of the Prostate Cancer UK Stand and the other is on the Niramax Stand. These will open from 6.30pm and remain open until kick-off.
Fans wishing to make card purchases of tickets must report to the Main Ticket Office.
Pools are installed as 23/20 favourites for three points on Friday night, with visitors Morecambe just behind at odds of 23/10 and the draw priced at 12/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.