Yeovil Town travel to the North-East tonight to play their twice-postponed FA CUp Second Round match against Hartlepool United. It should be third time lucky at Victoria Park, with the weather forecast predicting temperatures well above freezing. The winners will pocket £27,000 as part of the FA's prize fund, to add to the £18,000 both clubs collected as part of their First Round victories, and will take on Watford in the Third Round on January 8th 2011 at Vicarage Road.
Both sides got through their weekend games without conceding a goal, with Pools managing an impressive 1-0 win over promotion-chasing AFC Bournemouth, with striker James Brown coming up trumps. Mick Wadsworth's side have started to quietly pick up some steady form in the last few months - nothing that has blown the league apart, but enough to have them quietly sneak up to 12th in the latest League One table and ten points ahead of the now bottom-placed Glovers. Four wins and three draws in eight League and FA Cup matches have helped push them forward, with their only blemish during the last two months being a Football League Trophy exit at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday.
They've had a bit of fortune along the way mind. Goalkeeper Jake Kean was even by his manager's admission lucky not to see red for getting involved in a spot of handbags with Bournemouth's Danny Hollands on Saturday, after Kean was fouled by Harry Arter. All three got booked, with Mick Wadsworth admitting after the game that an outfield player would have been going in goal, having earmarked defender Sam Collins for temporary duties. Since the last attempt to play the FA Cup match, Wadsworth has sent loan keeper Lee Nicholls back to Wigan Athletic meaning that they will almost certainly play tonight's game without a substitute keeper - former Glover Scott Flinders is one of two permanent keeper signings still on the sidelines, with Andy Rafferty another long term absentee. Manchester City forward James Poole also returned to his parent club, whilst Billy Greulich has an ankle injury.
For the Glovers, there's been (probably deliberately) no output from manager Terry Skiverton concerning the status of three players who suffered knocks in the 0-0 draw at Colchester United. Centre-back Paul Huntington went off with what looked to be a rib injury early on in the game, whilst fellow centre-back Adam Virgo was hobbling around badly in the closing minutes and probably would have come off if the Glovers hadn't used all three substitutes by then. Virgo is reported as not playing tonight. In between, striker Dean Bowditch lasted only five minutes of the second half before putting his hand up in what appeared to be a procedure agreed during the half time break for something that had caused Bowditch concerns earlier. With Stefan Stam (hamstring) missing again, Skiverton will be praying that at least one of his centre-backs pulls through for tonight's match, or defensive options will come close to disappearing. The worst case scenario is that teenagers Tom Parkes and Luke Ayling will be paired up at the back.
Hartlepool have already beaten Yeovil Town this season with their 2-0 win at Huish Park in Mick Wadsworth's first game as Caretaker Manager. Goals from Gary Liddle and Andy Monkhouse took the points in what was a pretty awful Glovers performance. But Yeovil have proved they can be stubborn against tonight's opponents, gaining a 1-1 draw in their last match at Victoria Park, as Sam Williams netted an opener at a snowy Victoria Park, only for Monkhouse again to deny the Glovers three points.
Tonight's match kicks off at 7.45p.m. at Victoria Park with tickets still available on the day. We'll be letting you know how the game is going on Twitter tonight, whilst BBC Somerset will also be covering the game on 95.5FM. If, heaven forbid, this game goes to a replay, then it will be on December 21st at Huish Park.
Link: Officials For Hartlepool United vs Yeovil Town FA Cup Match.
Link: GWSC FA Cup Travel To Hartlepool United (Revised).
Link: Ciderspace Guide To Hartlepool United.
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