Yeovil Town make the extra-long trip to Hartlepool United tomorrow as they resume their League One campaign following an unexpected mid-season break of 10 days, caused by a blank weekend last Saturday. The break has been a welcome one in that it has allowed a number of players carrying minor niggles to rest their limbs and get back to full fitness.
The end result is that manager Russell Slade's selection options are fairly well defined for once, with three players set to miss the trip up to the North-East. The snag is that all three are central midfielders, with long term injury victim Marc Bircham (ankle) plus Darren Way (groin) added to by the suspension of Gary Roberts for picking up five yellow cards. This means that youngsters Lee Peltier and Keiran Murtagh are by default likely to be the midfield pairing, with the possibility of Danny Schofield being used as an attacking outlet in front of them. Paul Warne's midweek knock in the Reserves is not believed to be causing him a problem.
For Hartlepool, they have James Brown and Willie Boland out with knee injuries, whilst goalkeeper Arran Lee-Barrett has been given a three match ban by the FA for an off the ball incident in last weekend's FA Cup match against Fleetwood Town, receiving his punishment based on video evidence. He will be replaced by Jan Budtz, who played in the corresponding fixture last season.
One player who is expected to be fit for Hartlepool is midfielder Ritchie Jones. He missed last weekend's FA Cup game with a hamstring problem but is likely to face the club that he played on loan for last season, having had a four month spell at Huish Park that somewhat fizzled out towards the end. He signed permanently for Pools over the summer. So far he has made 17 appearances for Hartlepool, scoring one goal. Another link between the two clubs, of sorts, is that their on loan striker Kevin Kyle was a transfer target for Russell Slade, but the Glovers couldn't cough up the share of the wages that Saturday's hosts could. Kyle is currently into the second month of his loan spell at Victoria Park, with 10 appearances and three goals so far for the former Scotland international.
Hartlepool lie in 12th position in the table, six points and nine places above the Glovers. As with recent seasons, Pools are very strong at home with their away form letting them down somewhat. Certainly they are good value for money on home turf, with matches at Victoria Park seeing 39 goals scored across nine league matches. Their 22 goals scored at home make them top of the league in that department, although with Brown out for the rest of the season they will have problems in keeping the goals flying in. The right-winger is being covered by Antony Sweeney. Striker Joel Porter will be Hartlepool's main goal threat with seven goals so far. With this week's AGM at Victoria Park providing gloomy financial figures, Pools manager Danny Wilson is likely to have to make do with what he has already got in January.
Last season's match at Victoria Park saw an inexperienced, paper-thin Glovers squad lose out 2-0 to goals from Porter and Brown, although Yeovil won the home match 3-1 with goals from Terry Skiverton, Marcus Stewart and Lloyd Owusu. The Easter Monday reverse was Yeovil's first defeat against Hartlepool, having won all three of the other encounters.
The match kicks off at 3.00p.m. on Saturday, with tickets available on the day of the game from Victoria Park. For details of that and everything else you didn't want to know about Hartlepool, see our guide below.
Link: Ciderspace Guide To Hartlepool.
Comment on this News Item on Facebook
or Go back to Top of Page