Torquay United v Hartlepool United
Saturday 31st August 2019, 3pm
Torquay United have made a solid start to life back in the National League after they bounced back immediately from relegation in 2017/18.
Experienced boss Gary Johnson was able turn the tide pretty quickly on the English Riviera as The Gulls shrugged off a difficult start to last term by romping to the National League South title.
Coupling a mean defence with a potent forward line, Torquay were simply too good for their rivals and deservedly regained their place back in the fifth tier at the first attempt.
They’ve scored in all but one of their games this season, during which they have already celebrated wins over Boreham Wood, Dover Athletic and Aldershot Town.
Johnson’s men should probably have added Barnet to that list on Monday when they threw away a two-goal lead to draw but the result still left them sitting eighth in the formative league table.
One To Watch
Front man Jamie Reid has made a flying start to the new campaign and Pools will need to keep a close eye on the 25-year-old at Plainmoor this weekend.
Reid came through the ranks with rivals Exeter City but had several loan stints with The Gulls over the last three years before making a permanent move in October 2017.
He fired an impressive 29 goals during their promotion from National League South last term and has already found the net four times in the new season.
Head To Head
Saturday’s game will be the 81st competitive meeting between the two clubs and Torquay have just about edged it, winning 29 of the previous encounters in comparison to Pools’ 27 triumphs.
However, Pools’ recent record against the Devon outfit has been very strong having not tasted defeat in any of the last eleven meetings, of which they have won six.
The last time Torquay beat Pools was back in October 2001 but Pools gained revenge later that season with a 4-1 triumph at The Vic.
Pools have also won on three of their last four visits to Plainmoor, including the most recent in October 2017 when goals from Rhys Oates and Jonathan Franks ensured a 2-0 victory.
Pools 1 Torquay United 1
Saturday 21st April 2018
Pools: Loach, Donaldson, Harrison, Laing, Adams, Featherstone, Hawkes, Hawkins, Newton (Munns 23), Cassidy, Oates (Cunningham (s/o 81)).
Subs not used: Catterick, Owen, Orrell.
Torquay United: Dorel, Davis, McGinty, Gowling, Barnes (Efete 79), Balatoni (Dowling 63), Young, Lemonheigh-Evans, Reid, Healey, Williams (Keating 84).
Subs not used: Clarke, Klukowski.
On The Whistle
Thomas Parsons will take charge of his first-ever Pools game this weekend when he’s on the whistle for our encounter with Torquay United.
The official is new to the National League’s list of referees for this season and has overseen two fixtures at this this level so far in 2019/20.
His debut came during Barrow’s 2-0 win over Eastleigh, while he was also in charge for Woking’s surprise 4-1 win at Fylde a fortnight ago when he showed his first red card of the campaign.
We’ll once again be providing full live and totally FREE online commentary of Saturday’s game here on the Official Website.
Mark Simpson will be on-air at Plainmoor from 2.50pm when he’ll bring you all the build-up to kick-off and then describe all the action as it unfolds against The Gulls.
Tickets for Saturday’s game are available to Pools fans on the turnstiles prior to kick-off at Plainmoor, whilst you can also buy in advance on line if you so wish.