Hartlepool United Ladies boss Andy Stuart has backed his team to show how far they have come when they travel to promotion rivals Norton & Stockton Ancients on Wednesday (7.45pm kick-off).
Pools nudged back above their hosts in the North East Regional Women’s Football League Premier Division on Sunday when they thumped Farsley Celtic 4-1 to secure their sixth successive victory.
However, the Teessiders have three games in hand and boast an impressive 100% record from their nine league outings so far this term so the Station Road meeting is promising to be an intriguing encounter.
It’s the first time the two clubs have shared a division given Pools’ consecutive promotions and Stuart says it will be a well-matched affair that is too close to call.
However, he’s confident that Pools can give a good account of themselves on the back of a run which has seen them score an astonishing 40 goals in their last six games.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” Stuart told us.
“I don’t think there is much between the teams and the level of both is very good so I would expect tonight to be a fantastic game.
“The weather, some niggling injuries and the fixtures being shuffled about hasn’t helped us but once we’ve had regular games we’ve shown our consistency and got on a great run recently.
“The fitness has improved and the togetherness of the group is really strong at the moment which is really showing on the pitch during games.
“We’ve not played Norton much recently – I think we played them in the County Cup a few years ago but our team has changed dramatically since then.
“They’ve had their misfortune with relegation in recent seasons but they’re on the up again now, they have a very good squad and management team so they’ll be looking to go up and progress.
“We know it’s going to be tough but we’re all just really looking forward to it.”
The game at Station Road in Norton kicks-off at 7.45pm and entry is free to all supporters.