Next Up: Hartlepool United v Exeter City

A second successive defeat to an injury time goal has all but extinguished any hopes City had of extending their season, a win up at the opposite end of the country is a must if there are to be any hopes whatsoever of a late dash into he playoffs. Christian Ribeiro missed the ribeirodefeat to Southend but will hope to be back in time for the weekend. Forgotten man Jimmy Keohane returned to the starting line up and will hope to keep his place for a visit to a place where he scored a wonderful goal last time. Paul Tisdale is unlikely to tinker too much, however, both with the faint possibility of the playoffs and with integrity to Hartlepool’s relegation opponents.

Having ended last season with a whimper, many pundits expected Hartlepool to struggle this time, and Pools haven’t disappointed on that score. Colin Cooper’s reign was brought to a halt, so too that of replacement Paul Murray with Hartlepool floundering well adrift at the bottom of the table, much to the consternation of their most famous supporter, Sky’s Jeff Stelling. Their last throw of the dice was to bring in Ronnie Moore, recently manager of Tranmere until resigning in the wake of a betting scandal, and the transformation has been remarkable. From looking dead in the water in February Moore has guided Hartlepool to 22nd place, ironically his former club now propping up the table, and a win for Hartlepool on Saturday hartlepool_exeter2_thumbcoupled with a defeat for Cheltenham and a failure to win for Tranmere and he will have completed the mission impossible. However, there has been something of a wobble in recent games and Pools go into the City match without a win in their last five culminating in a 3-0 defeat at revitalised Luton last weekend. Goals have been a major issue, with two players joint top scorer on five goals apiece. One of those is Scott Fenwick, who was in a rich vein of form before getting injured in February, he has yet to find the net on his three appearances since his return. Scott Flinders in goal is an experienced campaigner who racked up his 250th league appearance for the club (1 goal!) last weekend and has been ever present in the league once again. Neil Austin is the other ever-present, another very experienced player from his time at Barnsley and also with over 200 appearances in the colours of Hartlepool.

Given their struggles it stands to reason that Hartlepool came away from the Park in October with all three points against an in-form City side. Michael Woods and Charlie Wyke put the visitors 2-0 up before Christian Ribeiro set up a grandstand finish. City’s last match of last Cseason was also at Hartlepool, and a youthful City side comfortably won 2-0 with the aforementioned Jimmy Keohane wonderstrike and David Wheeler, Christy Pym at the other end grabbing some glory with a penalty save. City hold a decent head to head lead in Football League matches with 32 wins to Hartlepool’s 23 (22 draws).

Match Officials: http://www.exeweb.com/2015/04/22/match-officials-hartlepool-united-v-exeter-city/

Ground Guide: http://www.exeweb.com/2014/03/31/the-things-you-need-to-know-victoria-park-hartlepool/

Ticket information: http://www.exeweb.com/2015/04/17/hartlepool-reduce-prices-for-exeters-last-away-day/

Last season’s You Tube highlights


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