We look ahead to Saturday's action with a full and in-depth preview of our Sky Bet League Two trip to Barnet.
Barnet v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 22nd October 2016
There isn’t much separating Pools and this weekend’s opponents Barnet in the League Two table – the two teams have the same amount of points and an identical goal difference.
Craig Hignett’s men lie 17th and one place above Saturday’s hosts by virtue of goals scored only so the Pools boss will know to expect a tight encounter at The Hive.
Another similarity with Pools is that Barnet have struggled for results on their own patch and have so far won just once at The Hive this term – and that was their first league outing of the season there.
Having been beaten 4-1 by Exeter City last time out on home soil, Martin Allen’s men have reacted well on the road in recent weeks by winning at Wycombe Wanderers and picking up a useful point at Newport County on Tuesday.
Now they will be desperate to get back on track at The Hive and will hope to leapfrog Pools in the League Two table in the process.
John Akinde is not only Barnet’s top scorer but he’s also the leading marksman in the division right now, having hit the net 11 times already this season.
The 27-year-old front man has been on fire for much of the season, hitting particularly hot form in recent weeks during which he’s scored five in his last three games.
One thing’s for sure, if Pools can keep the 6ft 2ins hitman as quiet as they did in this fixture last season then they’ll give themselves a much bigger chance of returning north with the points.
Barnet 1 (Shomotun 11)
Hartlepool United 3 (Hawkins 34, 40, Thomas 62)
Saturday 5th March 2016
Barnet: Stephens, Johnson, N’Gala, Nelson, Yiadom, Weston, Togwell (Gambin 61), Shotmotun, Randall (Muggleton 54), Akinde, Roberts (Stevens 54).
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Sesay, Pearson, Champion.
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, R Jones, Carroll, Featherstone, Hawkins (Walker 87), Gray (Woods 75), James, Paynter, Thomas (Oates 78).
Subs not used: Bartlett, D Jones, Richards, Fenwick.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be only the 21st competitive encounter between the two sides and Pools just about shade it historically having won eight times in comparison to Barnet’s seven.
Pools 3-1 victory at Barnet was their first in this fixture in the last four meetings; the previous time they shared a division was in 2006/07 when The Bees completed an unlikely double over Danny Wilson’s promotion-bound outfit.
The most recent trips to Barnet have been pretty positive for Pools too; they’ve tasted defeat just once in their last six visits there.
Nicholas Kinseley will take charge of a Pools game for the first time this weekend when he’s the man on the whistle for our visit to The Hive.
He stepped up in to the EFL full time at the start of last season after refereeing the majority of his football in the National League in the years prior to that.
His last outing came at Stevenage last weekend when he oversaw Carlisle United’s 2-1 victory at The Lamex Stadium, a game in which he brandished ten yellow cards.
Pools PlayerHD will be providing full live commentary on Saturday’s game so if you can’t make it along to The Hive then join us for coverage.
The live broadcast is available to Pools fans all over the world 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 Saturday’s game are no longer available in advance but will be on sale prior to kick-off on the day of the game at The Hive.
Click here for full ticket and pricing information.
Barnet have been installed as 6/5 favourites for the three points this weekend, with Pools rated an 11/5 shot to win and a draw priced at 12/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.