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Match Previews

Match Preview: Hartlepool United

16 August 2022

Match Previews

Match Preview: Hartlepool United

16 August 2022

After claiming our first Sky Bet League Two win of the season last time out, Micky Mellon’s side now face a trip to the North-East to face Hartlepool United on Tuesday night.

The first win of the season came in emphatic style as goals from Elliot Nevitt, Ethan Bristow and Josh Dacres-Cogley sealed a 3-0 win over Gillingham who was relegated from the third tier last campaign.

With a fine dominant display following on from a penalty shootout victory earlier that week against League One opposition in Accrington Stanley, Micky will be hoping this is the beginning of a good run of form after picking up defeats in the first two league games of the season.

As for the hosts’, Hartlepool were promoted from the National League in 2020/21 and spent last year back in the fourth tier for the first time in four years.

With a respectable finish of 17th from a promoted side, United caused a number of upsets over the course of the season and will be hoping to be another tough side to face again this campaign.

However, they haven’t had the best of starts in terms of results after they were battered 4-0 by Walsall on the opening day, followed by a 0-0 home draw with Wimbledon, another 4-0 battering in the Carabao Cup to Blackburn Rovers and then a narrow defeat to AFC Wimbledon at the weekend.

Team News:

Lee O'Connor and Luke Robinson missed Saturday's game and will be assessed to see how long they will be out for.

Jordan Turnbull came through his first 90 minutes unscathed and Joel Mumbongo got some more minutes under his belt coming on as a second half substitute.

Tom Davies, Kieron Morris and Charlie Jolley all remain sidelined

One to Watch: Callum Cooke

Born in the North-East, Cooke’s recent move to Hartlepool was a move back home after featuring up and down the EFL.

He came through at Middlesborough whilst never making a professional appearance and endured two loans spells whilst on the books at Boro with Crewe Alexandra and Blackpool respectively.

He then spent three years at Bradford City, one of which was a loan spell from parent club Peterborough United. But following his departure from Valley Parade, Cooke joined up with Hartlepool and has played every Sky Bet League Two minute so far. 

After a poor start to the season for the Pools, Cooke, 25, is the type of figure with EFL experience that the squad will look to as they still search for their first win of the season.

Manager: Paul Hartley

Having only managed in Scotland, Hartley moved south of the border this summer to take over at Hartlepool after three years at Cove Rangers. 

He had a 17-year long professional career as a player, featuring heavily for the likes of St Johnstone, Heart of Midlothian, Celtic as well as spending a year towards the end of this career at Bristol City before finishing up at Aberdeen.

He also earned 25 caps for his national team, being a regular pick in Midfield during Scotland’s EUFA Euro 2008 qualifying campaign.

He took his first managerial job at Alloa Athletic, a role which lasted three years and a spell which saw him win the Scottish Third Division and Scottish First Division play-off winner in 2012/13.

Hartley then won the Championship with Dundee before declining a move to the EFL Championship with Cardiff City and followed his success up in his next few jobs with two promotions in three seasons at Cove Rangers which was his final club before taking over at Hartlepool.

With a poor start, Hartley certainly has the credentials to turn the form around, but the threat of dropping back into the National League is one all Hartlepool fans will be desperate to avoid by as big of a margin as possible. 

Match Coverage:

Tuesday's game will be streamed live on iFollow in both the UK and abroad! Click here to get your match pass now for just £10

You can also follow the action through our social media channels below, with full text coverage during the fixture, followed by a match report. 

Twitter: @tranmererovers 

Facebook: @trfcofficial 

Instagram: @tranmererovers 

Match reaction from Micky Mellon and a player will follow on our website and YouTube channel.

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