Harrogate Town v Hartlepool United
Vanarama National League
Thursday 26th December, 3pm
The CNG Stadium
Harrogate Town quickly emerged as one of the National League’s surprise packages last season after gaining promotion via the National League North play-offs in 2017/18.
Simon Weaver’s men finished inside the play-offs during their first season in the fifth tier and they look a good bet to achieve at least the same again this time around.
They’ve maintained real momentum following their promotion and once more sit inside the top seven ahead of the second of three games in quick succession against Pools on Boxing Day.
Town struck the first blow in the trilogy when they came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in the FA Trophy meeting a fortnight ago but they were beaten 2-1 last time out against play-off rivals Boreham Wood.
One To Watch
Josh Falkingham was rested when the sides locked horns in the FA Trophy but there’s no doubting his importance to Harrogate Town’s promotion push this season.
The 29-year-old former Darlington midfielder has been a regular in the Town engine room since making a switch to The CNG Stadium in the summer of 2017.
Comfortable on the ball and able to make things tick from the centre of the park, Pools must not allow him to dictate things when they travel to North Yorkshire on Boxing Day.
Head To Head
Boxing Day’s encounter will be only the fourth competitive meeting between the two sides, who shared a division for the first time last season.
Pools are still waiting for their first victory over Town having lost on both visits to The CNG Stadium and being held to a 2-2 draw at The Vic in the opening month of 2018/19.
Harrogate Town 3 Pools 2
Saturday 14th December 2019
Harrogate Town: Cracknell, Fallowfield (Brown 46), Thomson (Muldoon 71), Kiernan, Bradley, Stead, Kerry, Hall, W Smith, Diamond (Emmett 46), Hancox.
Subs not used: Belshaw, G Smith, Falkingham.
Pools: Konstantopoulos, Richardson, Kioso, Kerr, Kitching, Featherstone, Mafuta, Donaldson, Hamilton, Hawkes (Toure 46), Kabamba (Crichlow-Noble 68).
Subs not used: Beeney, Kennedy, Shelton.
On The Whistle
Samuel Barrott will referee Pools for the second time this season when he’s the man in the middle for our Boxing Day visit to Harrogate Town.
Still in his first year on the National League’s list of referees, Barrott was on the whistle at Victoria Park back in September as Pools drew 1-1 with Chesterfield.
Barrott has also officiated Harrogate once this term – he saw them win 3-0 at Barrow during the opening week of the campaign.
You can listen to full live online commentary of the Boxing Day game right here on the Official Website from 2.50pm.
Mark Simpson will be on-air to bring you the build-up from The CNG Stadium before describing all the action as it unfolds against Harrogate.
Tickets for this game are SOLD OUT.