Hartlepool United v Stockport County
Saturday 25th January 2020, 3pm
Stockport County have emerged as strong candidate for the play-offs in their first season back in the fifth tier after winning the National League North title last term.
Jim Gannon's men were always fancied to hold their own back
at a higher level but are now well in the hunt for a return to the FootballLeague for the first time since 2011.
Indeed, County fans could have been forgiven for beginning
to dream at another automatic promotion when their side put together a greatrun of form during December to drive up the table.
However, wins have been harder to come by in recent weeks
and The Hatters arrive at Victoria Park this weekend still searching for theirfirst triumph of 2020.
One thing that has put a spring in the step of all involved
at Edgeley Park is the confirmation of a takeover by local businessman, MarkScott earlier this week which brought to an end months of speculation.
One To Watch
Danny Lloyd is in line to make his second Stockport County debut against Pools this weekend after joining The Hatters on loan from Salford City earlier this week.
The talented winger scored 29 goals in Stockport colours
during the 2016/17 campaign before earning a move to Peterborough United so hisreturn to Edgeley Park has been met with huge excitement.
The 28-year-old starred against Pools for Salford last
season, scoring in their 3-0 win at The Peninsula Stadium so Dave Challinor'smen will have to ensure they keep him quiet on Saturday.
Head To Head
Pools and Stockport County have a rivalry which stretches back to the 1920s and they have played each other some 132 times in the years since then.
The Hatters have the edge historically with 52 wins to their
name in comparison to Pools' 47 triumphs and it was County who came out on top2-1 when the sides met at Edgeley Park in October.
This is the first time since 2009/10 that the two clubs have
shared a division so Saturday's game will be Stockport's first visit to The Vic
since Pools' 3-0 win in April 2010, courtesy of goals from Joe Gamble, AndyMonkhouse and Roy O'Donovan.
Stockport County 2 Pools 1
Wednesday 9th October 2019
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Palmer, Keane, Arthur, Turnbull, Thomas (Cowan 65), T Walker (Osborne 81), Leesley, S Walker, Bell (Mulhern 74).
Subs not used: Ormson, Hammill.
Pools: Killip, Richardson (Hawkes 46), Kioso (Holohan 76), Raynes, Kerr, Kitching, Mafuta, Featherstone, Donaldson, James (Kabamba 63), Toure.
Subs not used: Bale, Cunningham.
On The Whistle
Karl Evans returns to Victoria Park for the second time this season on Saturday when he's the referee for our National League meeting with Stockport County.
The experienced official was last at The Vic back in Novemberwhen Boreham Wood were the visitors – not surprisingly, the game finished 2-2.
Evans' most recent appointment was just before Christmaswhen he presided over Chorley's 1-1 draw with Dover Athletic.
Mark Simpson will be joined by Pools legend Brian Honour for full live online commentary of Saturday's game here on the Official Website.
The duo will be on-air from 2.50pm and our coverage is
completely FREE and available all over the world so if you can't get to The Vicmake sure you join us online!
Tickets for Saturday's game are available in advance online or from the Club's Ticket Office, while there will also be availability on the day of the game.