We turn our attentions to Easter Monday by bringing you everything you need to know about our League Two trip to Leyton Orient.
Leyton Orient v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Monday 28th March 2016
The Story So Far
It’s fair to say that Leyton Orient fans have endured an up and down season so far but there will be many still hoping there is a happy ending to their first campaign in League Two after last term’s relegation.
After appointing Ian Hendon in the summer, The O’s were out of the traps extremely quickly and won their first five league games to storm to the top of the table.
However, the couldn’t maintain that form and a run of just one win in nine through December and in to the New Year led to Hendon’s departure and subsequent arrival of Kevin Nolan as player-boss.
Nolan’s appointment instantly helped The O’s get their promotion charge back on track and the former West Ham and Newcastle star has won seven of his twelve game in charge.
Defeat at Accrington Stanley on Good Friday leaves them a point outside the play-off positions but they’ll be hoping a run of four fixtures against sides in the bottom nine can help nudge them in to the top seven.
One To Watch
Orient boast the division’s top scorer in the shape of Jay Simpson who has blasted an impressive 23 goals so far this season to help spearhead the club’s promotion ambitions.
Signed from Millwall in the summer of 2014, the 27-year-old has terrorised League Two defences all term, though he’s hit the net only three times since Kevin Nolan arrived in late-January.
While he’s four games without a goal at present, Pools will still need to be wary of his talent on Monday and they will know keeping him quiet will mark a huge step towards success at Brisbane Road.
Sunday 15th November 2015
Hartlepool United 3 (Oyenuga 20 pen, Gray 70, 85)
Leyton Orient 1 (Pritchard 13)
Hartlepool United: Carson, Duckworth (Harrison 77), Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Naismith, Gray, Magnay, Oyenuga (Oates 68), Fenwick (Featherstone 82), Mandron.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Jones, Woods, Bingham.
Leyton Orient: Grainger, Clohessy, Shaw, Dunne (Tugott 86), Baudry, James, Payne, Pritchard (Kaskket 75), Palmer, Simpson, Marquis.
Subs not used: Sargeant, Semedo, Moncur.
Head To Head
Monday’s game will be the 46th competitive meeting between the two sides and the record as it stands could not be more balanced - both sides have won 18 each, while the other nine encounters have ended all-square.
Pools will hope to break a recent run which has seen the last four games go with home advantage, while neutrals may be interested to know that there hasn’t been a 0-0 draw in the last 31 meetings.
Craig Hignett will assess the fitness of defender Rob Jones ahead of Monday’s game, but Michael Duckworth is still lacking match fitness after returning from a hernia operation.
Fred Graham will take charge of his seventh Pools game on Easter Monday when he’s the man in the middle for our trip to Brisbane Road.
Earlier this term, he officiated our 2-1 win over Yeovil Town at Huish Park, while prior to that he was also on the whistle for a 3-2 victory over Torquay United at The Vic back in March 2014.
His last outing came in the Championship when he oversaw title-chasing Burnley’s 1-1 draw against Wolves at Turf Moor last Saturday.
Pools fans will be able to buy their on the turnstiles at Leyton Orient on the day of the game.
Click here for full ticket information for this fixture.
Pools Chairman Gary Coxall will join Mark Simpson in the Pools PlayerHD commentary team for live online coverage of Monday’s game at Leyton Orient – make sure you’re logged-on!
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD in time to listen-in.
Pools are a massive 5/1 to bring three points home on Monday, while Orient have been installed as clear 4/7 favourites and the draw is rated a 29/10 shot with our friends at Sky Bet.