Hartlepool United v Notts County
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 3pm
Notts County have emerged from a particularly chaotic summer where financial problems and ownership issues took the club right to the very brink following relegation from League Two.
A takeover led by Danish brothers Christoffer and Alexander Reedtz was completed at the end of July and finally gave Magpies boss Neal Ardley the green light to press ahead with recruitments plans.
Given the timing of the takeover, it’s perhaps not entirely surprising that County had an inconsistent start to life in the National League, winning just once in their opening ten games.
However, as the newly-formed squad began to gel, victories began to arrive with much more regularity and their recent good form has driven them right in to the equation for promotion.
They arrive at The Vic this weekend sitting sixth in the table, having lost just once in their last 13 games in all competitions which is all the more impressive given injuries and suspensions have begun to bite.
Their home record is particularly strong given they’ve tasted defeat just twice in the league all season and they will hope to use that to their advantage as they look to bounce back to the EFL at the first attempt.
One To Watch
Notts County fans were delighted when Kyle Wootton turned his loan from Scunthorpe United in to a permanent deal at Meadow Lane in January.
The prolific forward has struck 15 goals in all competitions for The Magpies so far this season, including two in their recent 3-0 win over Chesterfield.
The 23-year-old had hit double figures before the end of 2019 so getting him signed up is good business for boss Neal Ardley and he will hope to play a key role in their promotion chase.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 35th competitive meeting between the clubs and Notts County have the edge historically having enjoyed 16 wins in comparison to Pools’ 12.
The Magpies have definitely had the upper hand in more recent years – our 2-2 draw at Meadow Lane in November ended a run of five straight wins over Pools for County.
You have to go back to an FA Cup in November 2013 for Pools’ last victory over Notts County – that came courtesy of goals from Jack Baldwin and Luke James (2) in a 3-2 success at The Vic.
Notts County 2 Pools 2
Saturday 2nd November 2019
Pools: Killip, Kioso, Raynes, Kerr, Kitching, Featherstone, Mafuta, Holohan (Williams 89), Donaldson (Kennedy 81), Kabamba, James (Muir 72).
Subs not used: Cunningham, Hawkes.
Notts County: Slocombe, McCrory, Turner, Rawlinson, Brindley, Rose, Doyle, Shields (Booty 46), Thomas (Dennis 88), Boldewijn, Wootton.
Subs not used: Bakayogo, Osborne, Tyson.
On The Whistle
Ben Speedie will make his Victoria Park debut when he’s our referee for Saturday’s National League game against Notts County.
He’s still in his first season on the National League’s list of referees and this will be the first time that he’s overseen a game involving Pools or The Magpies.
Whilst he also acts as a Fourth Official in the EFL, Speedie’s most recent appointment in the National League was for Barrow’s 1-1 draw with AFC Fylde on Boxing Day.
Brian Honour will return to commentary duties this weekend as the Pools legend is back alongside Mark Simpson for full live online coverage of the game against Notts County.
The duo will be on-air from 2.50pm on Saturday so if you can’t get to the game make sure you join us here on the Official Website where you can follow the action as it unfolds.
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.
Notts County 19/10