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04 March 2023 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Hartlepool United

3 March 2023

Tranmere Rovers look to make it three consecutive wins on Saturday afternoon as they host Hartlepool at Prenton Park.

Rovers currently sit in 12th in the Sky Bet League Two table, and a win this weekend could prove vital in their push for promotion.

The visitors, Hartlepool United, sit just two points above the drop zone of the fourth tier of English football, and without a win in the last 5, a positive result for United could be the kickstarter to help draw them out of a relegation battle.

A Jordan Turnbull goal was the difference between Tranmere Rovers and Crawley Town at Prenton Park on Tuesday evening, meaning that Micky Mellon’s side are looking for three consecutive wins, with a 1-0 win away at Stevenage less than seven days ago.

Rovers have won the majority of the games against Saturday’s opponents, winning 58 and drawing 28 out of the 127 meetings between Tranmere and Hartlepool.

Tranmere are looking positive this season at Prenton Park, winning 8 and drawing 4 out of 17 games on the Wirral – versus Hartlepool’s away form of 11 defeats and 3 draws out of 17 games away from the north east.

One To Watch: Josh Umerah

Josh Umerah is a 25-year-old striker who has played for Saturday’s visitors since 2021.

The forward started his career at Charlton Athletic aged 11 in the Academy Setup, and signed his first professional contract aged 18 at the Valley back in 2015.

Umerah only made 2 senior appearances for Athletic in his four year spell, as well as enjoying loan spells at Kilmarnock, Wycombe Wanderers and Boreham Wood.

He dropped to the Vanarama National League in 2019 at Ebbsfleet United, scoring 5 goals in 30 games.

He also had a stint at Torquay United in the 2020/21 season, scoring just 1 goal in 26 games in what was described as the ‘COVID season’.

A move to Wealdstone then came where he broke through as one of the National League’s best, scoring 17 goals in 43 games.

He signed for Hartlepool in the summer of 2022, and he scored his first United goal in the August in a 2-1 defeat to Northampton Town. He has scored 13 goals and contributed 2 assists in 36 games so far this season.

The Manager: John Askey


John Askey is a 58-year-old football manager who enjoyed a very good footballing career, playing over 500 games for Macclesfield Town.

Askey started his career in the youth teams at Port Vale and signed his first professional deal in 1982, aged 18. He was later released from the Vale and went to Milton United, before making the move to Macclesfield Town, then in the Northern Premier League.

He progressed through the leagues with the Silkmen and played at Moss Rose for 19 years, making 511 appearances and scoring 109 goals.

After retiring from playing back in 2003, he took on the manager’s job at Macclesfield that season after a time as interim manager when David Moss was sacked. He was later appointed permanently for the remainder of that season, however was later demoted to Assistant Manager following the permanent appointment of Brian Horton.

He stayed in the hotseat at Macclesfield for 5 years after being re-appointed as manager in 2013, and led the Silkmen to regular success in the National League – including winning the league in the 2017/18 season and leading the team to Wembley for the FA Trophy final in 2017.

He was appointed as Manager of League One club, Shrewsbury Town, in 2018, however was sacked in the November due to just 5 wins in his first 21 games.

Askey later returned to his boyhood club, Port Vale, as Manager in 2019, where he stayed until 2021, and then returned to Macclesfield FC, the phoenix club of Town, as a mentor for Player-Manager, Danny Whitaker.

He then was brought into York City’s Management Team to support Steve Watson, when his Assistant Manager was suspended due to a gambling investigation. Watson was sacked and Askey took over as manager, where he led City to promotion via the Play-Offs to the National League. He was dismissed last November due to a falling-out between the board and the manager. He was appointed Hartlepool Manager just over a week ago, and drew his first game against Walsall on Saturday. He has managed 466 professional games, winning 193 and drawing 115, meaning a win rate of 41.4%.

How to watch Tranmere Rovers v Harltepool United

Supporters overseas are able to stream Saturday's game live on iFollow.

Click here to begin buying your match pass to watch the full game live on your device.

If you are a new user, you will need to create an account before purchasing your pass.

UK based supporters aren't permitted to watch the game live but can, however, listen to full match commentary.

How can I listen to live commentary of Tranmere v Hartlepool United?

If you would prefer to listen to the game for a cheaper price, you can do so on iFollow.

Similarly to buying a match pass, you can click here to buy your audio pass. This will give you access to full match commentary from TRFC Radio.

You can also buy monthly audio passes to save money each month.

First time visitors

If you are visiting Prenton Park for the first time, we have all the information you need to know! Click here to view our home fan guide.

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Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers 1-1 Hartlepool United

4 March 2023

Josh Hawkes’ second-half penalty earned Tranmere Rovers 1-1 draw against Hartlepool United at Prenton Park in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon.

Callum Cooke’s opener late in the first-half saw Rovers behind at half-time before Hawkes’ leveller versus his old club secured a share of the points.

Manager Micky Mellon made two changes from Tuesday night’s home victory over Crawley Town, with Brad Walker and Chris Merrie coming into the starting line-up in place of Lee O’Connor and Logan Chalmers.

Former Rovers favourite Connor Jennings was named as a starter for Hartlepool ahead of the game.

With six minutes played, it was Hartlepool who had the first sight of goal. Play dropped to James Sterry from distance, the defender struck a low left-footed strike through a crowd of players which landed narrowly wide of Joe Murphy’s bottom left-post.

Rovers should have been ahead inside 11 minutes. Merrie clipped a well-timed ball over the top of the visitors’ defence for Harvey Saunders who could only hit his first-time effort tamely straight at goalkeeper Jakub Stolarczyk.

Tranmere were forced into a 17th minute change after Paul Lewis had to be replaced by Jake Burton.

Midway through the half, Rovers had another chance. Regan Hendry found Merrie, who played an excellent ball to Hawkes on the left, however his right-footed effort was palmed away to safety by Stolarczyk.

Up the other end, Mohamad Sylla’s left-footed shot towards Murphy’s top right-corner was well kept out by the Rovers stopper.

Murphy had to be alert again to save low from Jennings’ snapshot, as the North-East outfit grew into the contest.

John Askey’s Pools were ahead on 44 minutes. Daniel Kemp’s flighted pass found an unmarked Cooke in the box, who got in-between Josh Dacres-Cogley and Tom Davies to dink the ball right-footed beyond Murphy.

In first-half added-time, an opportunity went begging for Rovers. Saunders profited from Stolarczyk’s poor clearance from a goal kick to slide in a through pass to Burton, but the Hartlepool goalkeeper redeemed his mistake by thwarting the effort well by spreading himself.

Tranmere had to make another injury-enforced change three minutes on from the break after Walker took a knock, with Jay Turner-Cooke coming on in his place.

Rovers survived a scare as Joe Grey’s half-volley from Sterry’s cross went over Murphy’s crossbar.

Dacres-Cogley’s neat play down the right created a chance for Ethan Bristow, but his attempt went over the crossbar and into the Argyle Satellite Taxis Kop stand.

On the hour, Merrie steered a header from Hendry’s right-sided corner, which Euan Murray managed to thump the ball to safety up field.

Pushing for an equaliser, Hendry’s cross into a crowded six-yard box was headed out by Taylor Foran but only to Davies who flashed a fierce right-footed volley across goal which Saunders glanced wide.

Tranmere found their equaliser from the penalty spot on 67 minutes after Saunders was fouled in the box by Murray, as referee James Oldham pointed to the spot.

Hawkes, who scored the winner at Stevenage from the spot, was successful from 12-yards again, striking his kick powerfully high into the top corner which crashed in off Stolarczyk’s crossbar.

Buoyed by their equaliser, Hawkes was involved once more, weaving into space to cross before crossing for Burton to flick his header narrowly wide.

Murphy had to be called upon minutes later, saving bravely from Nicky Featherstone’s shot after he was set free by captain David Ferguson.

In the closing stages of the game, Jordan Turnbull headed Hendry’s corner off target, while Saunders could not test Stolarczyk.

It was Hartlepool who had the game’s final chance on 91 minutes. The unmarked Kemp connected with Ferguson’s cross  but he could not direct his header past Murphy.

Next up for Rovers is a long trip down to Kent next Saturday for an away fixture at Gillingham, 3pm kick-off.

Tranmere: Murphy, Dacres-Cogley, Turnbull, Davies, Bristow, Walker (Turner-Cooke 48), Hendry, Hawkes, Merrie, Lewis (Burton 17), Saunders

Subs not used: Hewelt, Jameson, O’Connor, Chalmers, Mumbongo

Goal: Hawkes (pen, 67)

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