We turn our attentions to the weekend's action with a full and in-depth preview of Saturday's League Two trip to Portsmouth.
Portsmouth v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 17th December 2016
Portsmouth bounced back from their first league defeat in five outings with an excellent 1-0 win at Grimsby Town last weekend to climb in to fourth spot in the League Two table.
After missing out on promotion in agonising circumstances via the play-offs last term, Paul Cook’s men will be determined to make no mistake this time around.
Pompey enjoyed a very impressive start to life on home soil this season, winning four out of their first five games there – but since October there have been wins there for Notts County, Doncaster Rovers and Stevenage.
If they can get back to that early season form on their own patch then they will hope that will help them eat up the five points on third-placed Doncaster.
When Paul Cook made the switch to Portsmouth last summer he was quick to go back to his own club to capture influential attacker Gary Roberts.
The former England C international hit double figures during his first season at Fratton Park and is well on the way to doing the same this time around having found the net seven times already.
If he can keep on producing that kind of form for the rest of the season then he could once again prove key as Portsmouth go in search of promotion to League One.
Hartlepool United 0
Portsmouth 2 (Naismith 57, Chaplin 84)
Saturday 30th April 2016
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, D Jones, Thomas, Woods, Featherstone, Hawkins, Paynter, James.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Walker, Richards, Bingham.
Portsmouth: Murphy, Stevens, Burgess (Whatmough 89), Freeman, Doyle, Roberts, Naismith (McGurk 64), Barton, Evans, Hollands, Smith (Chaplin 73).
Davies, Haunstrup, Tollitt, Close.Subs not used:
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be only the 12th competitive meeting between the two sides and Portsmouth have the edge having won seven in comparison to just one victory for Pools.
Pompey did the league double over Pools last term, backing up their 4-0 win at Fratton Park in December with a 2-0 triumph at The Vic in April.
Pools’ only win in this fixture came away from home in January 2013 when goals from Jack Baldwin, James Poole and Greg Rutherford handed John Hughes’ men a 3-1 result.
Graham Horwood will be taking charge of his third Pools game this weekend when he’s on the whistle for our trip to Fratton Park.
He actually also officiated when we went there in 2014/15 but unfortunately we lost out 1-0 in our encounter back in February 2015.
Happier memories of Horwood in the middle came at Mansfield Town when he saw us win 4-1 there in October 2013, thanks to goals from Andy Monkhouse, Jack Compton (2) and James Poole.
Pools PlayerHD will be providing full live commentary on Saturday’s game so if you can’t make it along to Fratton Park then join us for coverage.
The live broadcast is available to Pools fans all over the world from 2.50pm so no matter where you are on the planet you can keep right up to date with the action.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Tickets for this weekend’s game will be available prior to kick-off from the cash-only ticket booth close to the away turnstiles at Fratton Park.
Click here for full ticket and pricing information.
Portsmouth have been installed as 4/11 favourites for three points this weekend, while Pools are out at 7/1 to bring home the points and a draw is priced at 19/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.