We turn our attentions to the weekend with a full and in-depth preview of our first-ever visit to Maidenhead United's York Road.
Maidenhead United v Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Saturday 12th August 2017, 12.30pm
Maidenhead United are one of the semi-professional teams competing in the National League this season but, given the style with which they won promotion last term, they can’t be taken lightly.
The Magpies amassed 98 points on their way to the National League South title in 2016/17 and they will be hoping to bring some of that momentum in to the new campaign.
An opening day draw at Maidstone United was a solid start and, by all reports, they were unfortunate to lose in their first home outing against Wrexham in midweek.
In Alan Devonshire they have a wily and experienced boss; the West Ham United legend is in his second spell in charge at York Road and has spent the last two years building a side which can challenge in the National League.
One To Watch
Inspirational skipper Alan Massey will look to lead by example for Maidenhead United this season after leading the team to promotion last term.
A commanding centre-back who has also played for Braintree Town, Wealdstone and Wycombe Wanderers, he was an ever-present during their National League South title win.
If he can reproduce the form from last season again and bring out the best in those around him, then he could be a key factor in the Magpies bid to flourish in the National League.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the first time that Pools and Maidenhead United have ever played against each other.
Neil Hair will take charge of his first-ever Pools game this weekend when he’s the man in the middle for our encounter with Maidenhead.
The official stepped up to the National League list for the first time last term when he refereed 27 games in non-league’s top tier and the FA Cup.
So far this season he’s taken charge of Macclesfield’s opening day win at Wrexham and Ebbsfleet United’s midweek triumph over Maidstone during which he produced his first red card of the campaign.
Pools will make their league debut on BT Sport this weekend when Saturday’s game is broadcast live.
If you can’t get in front of a television with BT Sport then you can listen to full live audio coverage as usual by logging-on to Pools PlayerHD where we’ll be linking up with BBC Tees.
Tickets will be available on the cash-only turnstiles prior to Saturday’s game – Pools fans need to enter through the Bell Street turnstile at the weekend.