We turn our attentions to the weekend's action with a full and in-depth preview of Saturday's trip to The Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Colchester United v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 25th February 2017
Colchester United nudged their way in to the play-off positions when George Elokobi’s spectacular strike was enough to see them beat Wycombe Wanderers 1-0 on Tuesday.
The U’s have recovered impressively from quite a slow start to life back in League Two following relegation last term and their since November has been outstanding.
Incredibly, after defeat to Yeovil on Saturday 19th November, Colchester were in the bottom two but a run of seven wins from eight helped give them the platform for a promotion push.
The midweek triumph over Wycombe put paid to a small wobble in form which had seen them lose back-to-back fixtures and they will be looking to underline that when Pools arrive this weekend.
Kurtis Guthrie has been key to Colchester’s eye-catching upturn in form and his goals have helped propel John McGreal’s men from one end of the league table to the other.
Signed in the summer from Forest Green, the 23-year-old forward has scored eleven goals this term, nine of which have arrived during The U’s excellent run from November onwards.
The Jersey-born hitman is relishing a return to league football after previously spending time at Accrington Stanley in 2011/12 before dropping back in to non-league.
Pools 1 (Paynter pen 27)
Colchester United 1 (Eastman 4)
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 6th August 2016
Pools: Carson, Magnay, Jones, Nsiala, Carroll, Featherstone (Woods 73), Hawkins, Thomas, Alessandra, Paynter (Laurent 88), Amond (Deverdics 78).
Subs not used: Bartlett, Bates, Richards, Oates.
Colchester United: Walker, Brindley, Prosser, Eastman, Kinsella, Lapslie, Wright (Sembie-Ferris 70), Szmodics (Bonne 87), Slater, Porter (Johnstone 62), Guthrie.
Subs not used: Bransgrove, Kent, Vincent-Young, Loft.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 60th competitive meeting between the two clubs and Colchester have the edge historically having won 25 times in comparison to Pools’ 19 victories.
Three of the last four games between the sides have ended in draws though you have to go back to February 2011 for Pools’ last victory over The U’s.
The club’s record in Essex isn’t great either – Pools have picked up just three points from their last seven visits and their last victory at Colchester came back in March 2004 thanks to goals from Michael Nelson and Steven Istead.
Ben Toner will be in charge of his fifth Pools game when he's the man in the middle for our trip to Colchester United this weekend.
The last time Toner was on the whistle for a Pools fixture came when he witnesses our incredible 3-3 draw at Crewe Alexandra in August.
Prior to that, the official has also overseen our home defeat to Stevenage last February as well as our FA Cup win over East Thurrock United in 2014/15.
Pools PlayerHD will once again be providing full live online commentary of Saturday’s game at Colchester United - with Chairman Gary Coxall set to be alongside Mark Simpson.
Fans all over the world can access the live broadcast so if you can’t get along to the game then make sure to join the lads on Pools PlayerHD to keep up to date.
Click here now for more information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets on the day from the Colchester United Ticket Office which is located close to the Club Shop at The Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Click here now for full ticket details on this fixture.
Colchester are rated 8/11 favourites for all three points on Saturday, while Pools are a 18/5 shot and the draw is priced at 14/5 with our friends at Sky Bet.