We look ahead to the Good Friday action with a full and in-depth preview of our trip to The Gallagher Stadium (3pm kick-off).
Maidstone United v Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Friday 30th March 2018, 3pm
The Gallagher Stadium
Maidstone United prepare to play hosts on Good Friday and will know that Pools can leapfrog them in the National League table with victory at The Gallagher Stadium.
The Stones sit one place and point above Pools at the moment but their 1-0 reverse at promotion-chasing Wrexham last weekend was their first defeat in four on the back of some improved form.
Back-to-back home wins over Torquay United and Sutton United were followed up with a creditable draw with leaders Macclesfield Town as Jay Saunders’ men look to stay clear of the bottom four.
Both sides will know the work is far from over but the victors in this Good Friday contest will take a big stride towards safety with just six more games left to play afterwards.
One To Watch
The vastly-experienced Stuart Lewis is going to have a key role to play for The Stones as they look to ensure they don’t get dragged right in to the relegation scrap at the bottom of the National League.
The 30-year-old midfielder joined Maidstone permanently during the summer after spending the second half of last season on loan at the club from Ebbsfleet United.
A recent red card against Boreham Wood – his second of the campaign – and subsequent suspension allowed him to “recharge his batteries” and he returned in top form with the winning goal against Sutton United.
With over 300 senior games under his belt he provided a steadying influence in the Maidstone engine room and that’s a battle Pools will need to win at The Gallagher Stadium.
Maidstone United: LLWWDL
Head To Head
Friday’s game will be the sixth competitive meeting between the two clubs but the first to be played in Maidstone since the early 1990s.
Pools’ 3-1 win over The Stones in September was the first encounter between the clubs since our brilliant 4-1 win at Watling Street in March 1991 when goals from Brian Honour (2), Paul Dalton and Paul Baker continue the promotion momentum.
Pools’ record against Maidstone is pretty solid over the years having won four of the five previous meetings – the only defeat came away from home in December 1989.
Sam Purkiss will be taking charge of his third Pools game this Easter weekend when he’s the man on the whistle for our Good Friday trip to Maidstone United.
The official – another in his first season on the National League list of referees – also presided over our 3-0 defeat at Ebbsfleet United in November and our 4-2 loss at Dagenham & Redbridge in January.
His most recent outing came back at Ebbsfleet last weekend when he oversaw their 1-1 draw with Maidenhead United in the National League.
We’ll be linking-up with our friends at BBC Tees to provide live commentary for Pools PlayerHD subscribers all over the world.
If you can’t get to Mill Farm on Saturday then make sure you join us for full online coverage to keep right up to date with the action against The Coasters.
Pools fans will be able to buy their tickets for Friday’s game on the cash-only turnstiles prior to kick-off at The Gallagher Stadium.