Hartlepool boss Colin Cooper will be without Jack Baldwin for this weekend’s game against Scunthorpe United after the defender picked up his tenth booking of the season at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night.
James Poole has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury and will be assessed closer to the game, but is likely to settle for a place on the bench with Luke James and Marlon Harewood starting in attack for the hosts.
The Iron boss Russ Wilcox is without striker Deon Burton after he was ruled out for a month with a calf strain suffered in the 3-3 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge. In Burton’s absence, Paddy Madden may be given his first start for United alongside either Sam Winnall or Paul Hayes.
Elsewhere, Christian Ribeiro is pushing for a return to the side at right back with Eddie Nolan likely to revert to a more familiar left back role.
Victoria Park is a traditional ground with a total capacity of 7,787, including 4,180 seats. The ground went through a phase of development s in the 1990’s, with the building of two new seated stands (the Cyril Knowles Stand and the Town End). For this game, away supporters will be situated in just one area of the ground – the Rink End Stand.
This stand sits behind the goal and can hold up to 967 fans. A good atmosphere can be created by away fans due to the low level of the stand, however, a number of supporting pillars could hinder the view of the game. It is advised that away fans wrap up well due to the high winds that can build up in and around the stand. Food will also be available to travelling supporters in this stand.
Getting there by car
From Scunthorpe you should head onto M181 toward Humber Bridge/Doncaster/M180. Keep right upon reaching a fork before following signs for M180 which you should then merge onto. At the next roundabout, take the third exit onto the M18 ramp to M62. Next, merge onto the M18 before moving onto the M62. Upon reaching junction 32A, exit onto A1 (M) and continue to drive towards Wetherby.
You’ll then need to exit onto A168 toward A19/ Teesside before continuing onto A19. Afterwards, take the A689 ramp to Hartlepool/A1 (M), before taking the third exit at the roundabout onto A689. Finally, upon arriving in Hartlepool, turn left onto Clarence Road and go through two roundabouts. Victoria Park will be on the left.
The Iron have sold around 300 tickets for the trip to the North East. They are available until 2pm on Friday 31st. There is a price increase for tickets purchased on the day.
Adults – £25.00 (£20.00 if bought in advance)
Student/Senior/Under 19yrs/Under 16yrs – £13.00 (£10.00 if bought in advance)
Tickets bought on the day of the game have to be purchased from the Hartlepool ticket office and there will be no cash sales on the turnstiles.
Pubs & grub
A number of options will be available to Iron supporters visiting Victoria Park on 1st February. To start with, the Corner Flag Supporters Bar welcomes travelling supporters inside for just 50p. The bar has a good atmosphere and Sky TV, but does not serve food. The Millhouse Inn, however, does have food and will also allow away fans inside.
Another option that proves popular with the travelling support is the Jackson’s Wharf Pub, which serves good food and has real ale on tap. If you’re looking for something further afield, then there are a number of pubs available in the town centre.
Players to watch
Luke James, striker – the Pools’ teenage sensation has proved prolific so far this season with 12 goals in 34 appearances. The striker signed a professional contract with the club when he turned 17 in November 2011, and was named as the Football League’s League One Apprentice of the Year for 2012/13.
Marlon Harewood, striker – the former Premier League frontman signed a contract at Victoria Park in January that ties him to the club until the end of the season. The 34-year-old will be looking to impress after being released by Bristol City.
Scott Flinders, goalkeeper – The 6ft 4ins goalkeeper moved to Pools during the summer of 2009 and has become a main stay in the Hartlepool line-up. The ‘keeper has so far made 35 appearances this term and has kept a total of nine clean sheets.