We turn the spotlight on our final game of the 2018/19 season with a full and in-depth preview of Salford City’s visit to The Super 6 Stadium.
Pools v Salford City
Saturday 27th April 2019, 12.30pm
The Super 6 Stadium
Salford City arrive in the North-East this weekend knowing that even victory over Pools may not be enough to see them clinch the title and a sought-after place in the Football League.
Graham Alexander’s side have been in astonishing form in recent weeks but even a sequence of nine victories from their last eleven games looks like being too little too late in the bid to catch Leyton Orient.
The Ammies have undergone an incredible turnaround since the takeover by the famous ‘Class of 92’ in 2014 and this term the ambitions were to enjoy a fourth promotion in five years.
However, a surprise home defeat to AFC Fylde on Easter Monday means that leaders Orient now only need a point at home to Braintree Town to secure their return to the EFL after a two-year absence.
Whatever happens this weekend, nobody will fancy taking on City in the play-offs and if they do fail to win promotion this season you can bet David Beckham’s bottom dollar that they will be a force to be reckoned with again in 2019/20.
Whilst Salford have clearly invested in a very powerful squad this season, it’s hard to look past top scorer Adam Rooney when it comes to picking out the best of the bunch.
The experienced front man rejected the offer of a new deal with SPL outfit Aberdeen at the end of last season in order to link-up with The Ammies for their ongoing project to reach the EFL.
It’s proved a sound acquisition for boss Graham Alexander and Rooney’s 20 National League goals have helped keep them in the mix for promotion this term – Pools must make sure his tally doesn’t increase this weekend.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will only be the fourth time that the two teams have ever met in competitive action and the second time in league competition.
The Ammies first came up to Hartlepool back in 2015 when Pools needed a replay to see off the then Northern Premier League outfit in the Second Round of the FA Cup.
City ran out 3-0 winners in the first ever league meeting back in September so Pools will be out for some revenge when they convene for the return fixture on Saturday.
Tuesday 25th September 2018
Salford City 3 (Lloyd 64, Rooney 69, Walker 75) Pools 0
Salford City: Neal, Wiseman, Touray, Piergianni, Pond, Walker (Hogan 78), Whitehead, Shelton, Rooney (Rodney 85), Lloyd (Maynard 85), Gaffney.
Subs not used: Crocombe, Haughton.
Pools: Loach, Newton (Woods 72), Magnay, Davies, Anderson, Kitching, Featherstone, Noble, McLaughlin, Muir (Dinanga 18), James.
Subs not used: Richardson, Hawkins, Hawkes.
Andrew Miller will return to The Super 6 Stadium for a second time this season when he is the man in charge for our weekend meeting with Salford City.
The experienced official was last in Hartlepool for our 3-2 defeat to Sutton United in October, while he also presided over our 2-1 Boxing Day defeat at Gateshead.
Miller was also on the whistle for our crucial 1-0 triumph over Leyton Orient which secured National League survival last term – a day he sent-off Pools’ now Salford forward Devante Rodney.
If you can’t get along to the game on Saturday then join us on Pools PlayerHD where Mark Simpson and Brian Honour will provide full live online commentary.
Our coverage will begin on Pools PlayerHD from 12.20pm and you won’t miss a single second of the season finale if you join us then.
Fans can purchase tickets in advance from The Super 6 Stadium Ticket Office which is open from 9am until kick-off on Saturday.
We’ll also be opening a Matchday Ticket Office behind the EDC Neale Cooper Stand at 11am for fans to go along and buy their tickets.
Salford have been installed as 1/2 favourites for the victory on Saturday, with the bookies offering a price of 19/4 on Pools and a draw is available at odds of 29/10.