We turn our attentions to the New Year's Day action with a full and in-depth preview of Gateshead's visit to The Vic.
Hartlepool United v Gateshead
Vanarama National League
Monday 1st January 2018
Gateshead arrive at Victoria Park just one point and one place behind Pools in the National League table, though the Tynesiders have a couple of games in hand after some recent postponements.
Just like Pools, Gateshead were without a game on Saturday as their home clash with Wrexham fell foul to a frozen pitch so both teams should be chomping at the bit come the first whistle.
There was a change in the dugout at the International Stadium when former Newcastle United star Steve Watson arrived to replace Neil Aspin who defected to take charge of Port Vale.
Watson oversaw an initial upturn in fortunes for Gateshead’s young side but they have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, having not won in any of their last five National League outings.
One To Watch
It’s perhaps strange to pick out a left-back as a danger man but after the Boxing Day encounter at the International Stadium you can bet that Pools will be keeping a keener eye on Scott Barrow.
The defender scored almost identical goals just before and just after half-time in the festive fixture as Pools failed to deal with well-executed corner routines.
Those strikes were the 29-year-old’s first of the campaign and Pools will no doubt be more vigilant on New Year’s Day to ensure he doesn’t extend his tally any further at their expense.
Head To Head
The 2-2 draw at the International Stadium on Boxing Day was the first time the two clubs had met since Gateshead reformed.
Prior to that, you have to go back to February 1960 for the last time a Gateshead side came up against Pools and that also ended all square with a 1-1 draw at the Tynesiders’ Redheugh Park Ground.
The Boxing Day encounter took the all-time meetings up to 58 in all competitions, with Gateshead coming out on top in 27 of them in comparison to Pools’ 17 triumphs.
Joe Johnson has already refereed Pools twice this season but will make it a hat-trick on New Year’s Day when he’s on the whistle for Gateshead’s visit to The Vic.
The official – in his second season on the National League’s list of referee – last oversaw a Pools game when we thumped FC Halifax Town 4-0 on home soil back in November, whilst he was also on the whistle for our 1-1 draw at Macclesfield Town in the opening week of the campaign.
Johnson’s most recent appointment came on Saturday when he presided over Macclesfield’s 1-0 win over Sutton United at Moss Rose during which he flashed his first red card of the season.
If you can’t get to The Vic then join Pools legend Brian Honour who will be alongside Mark Simpson to provide full live commentary on Pools PlayerHD.
The duo will be on-air on Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm when they’ll bring you the best build-up from The Vic and then guide you through all the action as it unfolds.
Tickets for the game are on sale now both online and from the Club’s Ticket Office.
Fans will be able to buy tickets on the day of the game from the Main Ticket Office on Clarence Road or from our two Matchday Ticket Offices.
There will be no cash turnstiles for Pools fans but we have introduced a method by which supporters can buy tickets on their cards directly at the gate.