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Club News

In Opposition: Hartlepool United

26 April 2018

A closer look at Saturday's Vanarama National League opponents...

One To Watch

Midfielder Michael Woods will be a key player for Hartlepool, dictating play in the centre of the pitch. A talented player who had a spell at Chelsea in his younger years, Woods has worked hard to build back up the levels after dropping down to National League North with Harrogate Town for a spell before joining The Pools.

Manager

Matthew Bates is the caretaker manager at Hartlepool United, having taken the temporary reins from Craig Harrison who departed in the middle of February. The former Middlesbrough defender is registered as a player but has not made an appearance so far this term. Only 31, he has help guide the team to a position of safety in the National League standings and will be considered for the permanent role at the end of the season.

Familiar Faces

Hartlepool United have a couple of players in their ranks who have previously worn the Super White of Tranmere Rovers. Striker Jake Cassidy signed for The Pools in the summer after leaving Guiseley. The 24-year-old had three loan spells at Prenton Park during his formative years from Wolverhampton Wanderers. He left Molineux in 2015 to join Oldham Athletic but after a barren season with The Latics, he joined Guiseley and re-found his goalscoring prowess before a move to Victoria Park. Ryan Donaldson may not be remembered by Rovers fans as well as Cassidy, but the midfielder had a brief loan spell at Prenton Park in 2011. After a promising half hour of his debut, he picked up an injury and didn't feature in a Tranmere shirt again. The former Newcastle United man counts Gateshead, Cambridge United and Plymouth Argyle as his former clubs.

Current Form

After three wins in a row, Hartlepool have since managed just one win in their last five matches, that coming at home against Leyton Orient on April 17. Safe from relegation, after a topsy turvy season, Pools will be able to play with a bit more freedom and will be looking to end their season on a high at Prenton Park.

Head-To-Head

There have been 125 previous meetings between these two clubs, with Rovers having the better of things historically with 57 victories compared to Hartlepool's 40 with 28 matches drawn. The last time the two clubs' paths crossed at Prenton Park was back in January 2015 when the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.



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