We turn our attentions to the opening game of 2017 with a full and in-depth preview of Monday's League Two trip to Accrington Stanley.
Accrington Stanley Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Monday 2nd January 2017
Nine league games without a win had seen Accrington Stanley drop towards the bottom of the table but their 1-0 triumph at Crewe Alexandra on Saturday will have boosted confidence.
John Coleman’s men came within seconds of achieving automatic promotion last season and ended up suffering heartache in the play-offs.
They currently lie 21st in the League Two table and two points behind Pools ahead of Monday’s meeting and will hope to secure their first home win since mid-October.
Billy Kee scored the only goal of the game as Accrington returned to winning ways at Crewe on Saturday and his prowess could be important as John Coleman’s men look to move up the table.
The talented forward now has six goals to his name so far this season and if he can keep on the goal trail in the New Year then he could play a key role.
A former Leicester City trainee, Kee had a loan spell with Stanley back in 2009/10 but returned to signa permanent deal last summer having previously been a regular scorer at Burton Albion and Torquay United.
Pools 2 (Deverdics 62, Alessandra 90)
Accrington Stanley 0
Tuesday 22nd November 2016
Pools: Carson, Bates, Nsiala, Harrison, Martin (Carroll 67), Featherstone, Deverdics (Woods 76), Hawkins, Laurent, Amond, Alessandra.
Subs not used: Bartlett, Walker, Oates, Orrell, Paynter.
Accrington Stanley: Parish, Hughes (s/o 60), Beckles, Vyner, Conneely (Boco 81), Clark, Brown, McConville, O’Sullivan, McCartan, Kee (Lacey 69).
Subs not used: Chapman, Sykes, Davies, Gornell, Taylor-Fletcher.
Head To Head
Monday’s game will be the 75th competitive meeting between the two clubs and Pools have the edge historically having won 35 times in comparison to Stanley’s 25 triumphs.
However, Accrington did the double over Pools in League Two last term and – prior to our win in November – you had to go back six meetings to find the last time the Lancashire outfit tasted defeat in this fixture.
Pools’ last victory at the home of Stanley came in November 2006 when goals from Eifion Williams and Ritchie Humphreys helped Danny Wilson’s promotion-bound side to come from behind to win 2-1.
Graham Salisbury will oversee a Pools game for the second time this season when he’s on the whistle for our trip to The Wham Stadium on Monday.
The experienced official was also the man in the middle when we defeated Cheltenham Town 2-0 at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium in November.
Prior to that, he also saw us win 2-1 against Mansfield Town last April and also refereed when we were beaten at home by Plymouth Argyle in December 2015.
Fans all over the world can access live online commentary of Monday’s game at Accrington by logging-on to Pools PlayerHD from 2.50pm.
Click here now for full information on joining Pools PlayerHD.
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets at Accrington on the day of the game by visiting the Away Ticket Booth next to the away turnstiles at The Wham Stadium.
Pools are rated an 18/5 shot for victory at Accrington on Monday, with the hosts installed as 3/4 favourites and the draw priced at 11/4 with our friends at Sky Bet.