We turn our attentions to the weekend's action with a full and in-depth preview of our Sky Bet League Two trip to Crawley Town.
Crawley Town v Hartlepool United
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 14th January 2017
Crawley Town sit five points and four places above Pools in the League Two table ahead of Saturday’s meeting at The Checkatrade Stadium.
Dermot Drummy will be hoping his side can find a greater level of consistency in 2017 after starting the New Year on a positive note with a 2-0 win over Yeovil Town.
Following their 1-1 draw at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium in October, Town went on a run of six league games without a victory but they approach Saturday’s game having won three of their last five.
Overall they have been strong on home turf this term too, winning six of their 11 games and losing just twice in the league; if they can find a way of replicating that form on the road in the coming months they could yet have a say nearer the top of the division.
James Collins was on target from the penalty spot in Town’s 2-0 win over Yeovil Town at the start of 2017 and he will be among the main threats when Pools visit Crawley this weekend.
The 26-year-old joined the club during the summer and has since helped himself to 13 goals in all competitions, including four in his last six outings.
The former Aston Villa trainee knows his way around the lower leagues having carved out a reputation as a regular scorer with Shrewsbury Town, Swindon Town and Northampton Town.
Crawley Town 1
Sky Bet League Two
Saturday 8th October 2016
Pools: Bartlett, Richards, Nsiala, Harrison, Carroll, Deverdics (Green (Paynter 82)), Laurent, Hawkins, Thomas, Alessandra, Amond (Heardman 89).
Subs not used: Dudzinski, Pollock, Martin, Green, Orrell.
Crawley Town: Morris, Connolly, Blackman (Arthur 57), McNerney, Young, Smith, Banton (Bawling 57), Clifford, Djalo, Boldewijn, Collins.
Subs not used: Mersin, Davey, Pappoe, Tajbakhsh.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be only the fifth competitive meeting between the two sides but Pools are still waiting for their first win over The Red Devils.
The last two meetings have ended in draws and Pools have picked up a point on each of their two visits to West Sussex, while Town have on two of their three previous visits to The Vic.
Darren Handley is the man in charge of this weekend’s game against Crawley Town at The Checkatrade Stadium – it will be his third Pools appointment of the campaign.
His most recent Pools fixture came at the start of December when he sent-off Craig Hignett during our FA Cup defeat at Port Vale, while he was also the ref for our 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town in September.
Overall, it will be the ninth time that Handley has been in charge of a Pools game, perhaps the highlight coming when he saw us win 3-1 at Barnet last season.
Saturday’s encounter will be the second time he’s refereed Crawley, with the only other occasion coming last season when he oversaw their 3-1 defeat at Morecambe.
Pools PlayerHD will once again be providing full live online commentary of Saturday’s game at Crawley Town from 2.50pm.
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.
Crawley Town have introduced a Pay What You Can scheme on tickets for Saturday’s game at The Checkatrade Stadium – an offer open to both home and away supporters.
The minimum price is £1 and tickets are available at a maximum of six per person with fans advised to buy in advance where possible.
.Sky BetCrawley Town are rated 7/5 favourites for three points on Saturday, with Pools installed as a 19/10 shot for the victory and a draw priced at 12/5 with our friends at