We turn our attentions to the weekend with a full and in-depth preview of Saturday's Sky Bet League Two trip to Stevenage.
Stevenage v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 3rd September 2016
Stevenage will be hoping to make the most of upcoming back-to-back home games to try and claw themselves away from the base of the League Two table.
Darren Sarll’s men have lost four league games this season – more than any other in the division so far – and currently lie 22nd, albeit only two points behind Pools.
After picking up only one point from their first three league outings, a 2-1 victory over Luton Town helped raise confidence in the camp but they’ve lost three in a row in all competitions since.
A 5-2 reverse at newly-promoted Grimsby Town last weekend was described as “humbling” by the Stevenage boss and it’s a setback they will want to recover from quickly on Saturday.
Capable of playing in defence or attack, Charlie Lee has become a regular starter for Stevenage since making the switch from Gillingham in the summer of 2014.
His versatility was summed up when he was pushed in to a more attacking role during his first season at The Lamex Stadium, during which he finished top scorer with nine goals.
Lee – a former Spurs trainee – has started every game so far this season and looks set to play a big role as Stevenage look to climb the League Two table.
Hartlepool United 1 (Paynter 68)
Stevenage 2 (Conlon 45, 52)
Tuesday 9th February 2016
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Bates, Jackson, Carroll, Thomas (Bingham 82), Richards, Hawkins (Fenwick 59), Gray (Laurent 82), Paynter, James.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Harrison, D Jones, Featherstone.
Stevenage: Jones, Wilkinson, Wells, Henry, Ogilvie, Parrett (Conlon 39), Lee, Keane, Hedges (Cox 83), O’Connor, Pett (Gorman 87).
Subs not used: Day, Franks, Johnson, Zanzala.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the tenth competitive meeting between the sides and Pools are yet to enjoy a single victory over the Hertfordshire outfit.
Their victory in the north-east in February was their sixth straight win over Pools – the best we’ve done in the past is claim a couple of draws during the 2011/12 campaign.
To underline Stevenage’s superiority, Pools have found the net just four times in the previous nine fixtures – and two of those came in the first-ever meeting in August 2011.
John Busby will take charge of his first-ever Pools game this weekend when he’s the man in the middle for our trip to The Lamex Stadium.
The official in his first season operating in the EFL having spent all of the last campaign overseeing games in the National League.
His most recent outing came in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening when he was on the whistle for Luton Town’s 2-1 win at Gillingham.
Pools PlayerHD will be providing full live commentary on Saturday’s game so if you can’t make it along to The Lamex Stadium 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 this weekend’s game will be available to Pools fans on the turnstiles prior to kick-off at The Lamex Stadium.
Click here for full ticket and pricing information.
Stevenage have been installed as 11/8 favourites for three points on Saturday with Pools rated a 19/10 shot and the draw prices at 12/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.