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Match Previews

Hartlepool United vs. Latics

Sky Bet League Two - Matchday 24

31 December 2021

© Eddie Garvey

Latics make the journey to the North East as they face Hartlepool United on New Year's Day (3pm KO).

In midweek, Selim Benachour's outfit faced fellow strugglers, Barrow AFC, on away turf with nearly 500 supporters travelling up to Cumbria.

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Latics managed to secure a point and clean sheet against the Bluebirds with Carl Piergianni producing an excellent goal-line clearance to prevent Josh Gordon from netting a winner.

Form Guide

Pools enter the fixture on the back of a frustrating 3-2 defeat away at Mansfield Town on Boxing Day. Graeme Lee's side found themselves two-nil up in the encounter before the Stags implemented a remarkable comeback within 15 minutes.

Ticket News

13122021 Hartlepool Away Ticket News

30 December 2021

Prior to that, Hartlepool have been thriving under the tenure of the new manager with a four-game unbeaten run across the league and two cup competitions since his appointment in Durham. 

In the Papa John's Trophy, the Monkey Hangers picked up an emphatic victory against Sheffield Wednesday before knocking Lincoln City out of the Emirates FA Cup. 

Following that, Mark Shelton's 92nd-minute strike earned Hartlepool a hard-fought three points on home soil against Rochdale, and then, they played out a goalless with Scunthorpe United.

The Pools Last Six:

  1. Mansfield Town 3-2 Hartlepool United
  2. Hartlepool United 0-0 Scunthorpe United
  3. Hartlepool United 2-1 Rochdale
  4. Lincoln City 0-1 Hartlepool United (Emirates FA Cup)
  5. Sheffield Wednesday 0-3 Hartlepool United (Papa John's Trophy)
  6. Port Vale 2-0 Hartlepool United

Head-to-Head

Meetings: 69

Latics wins: 33
Hartlepool wins: 22
Draws: 14

Earlier in the campaign, Latics held Pools to a goalless draw in September at Boundary Park which was the sides first meeting since 2013.

Interestingly, Lee Johnson, in his first game in the dugout, steered 'the boys in blue' to an impressive 3-0 win against the Monkey Hangers on that occasion with Robbie Simpson, Jean-Yves Mvoto and Jose Baxter on the scoresheet.

In the reverse fixture, Baxter netted a brace in order to secure maximum points on the road to climb to 18th in Sky Bet League One.

Hartlepool were last victorious over Latics in December 2011 as James Poole's goal separated the teams at full-time at Boundary Park.

Watch Out For

Mark Cullen will be a handful for the Latics backline tomorrow.

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The 29-year-old began his career at Hull City, and spent time out on loan away from the MKM Stadium at Bradford City, Bury and Stockport County.

Luton Town secured the services of the attacker on a permanent basis in May 2013. After two seasons with the Hatters, Cullen scored 24 goals and helped the Bedfordshire-based outfit win promotion to the EFL which resulted in a move to Blackpool for a fee of £180,000.

The forward possesses an abundance of intelligent movement in the final third which was showcased at the Seasiders. Overall, he netted 26 times in 108 appearances, including a promotion to Sky Bet League One, before spells at Carlisle United and Port Vale.

Cullen has fired six goals in 20 outings, so far, for Pools.

In The Dugout

Graeme Lee occupies the hot seat at Hartlepool.

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A former defender, Lee started his playing career at the club in 1995 and established himself in the starting XI on a regular basis until 2003 as Sheffield Wednesday swooped in for him.

The 43-year-old would go on to play for a host of sides which includes Doncaster Rovers, Bradford City and Notts County before hanging his boots up in 2013 with five promotions to his name.

In June 2019, Lee got his first taste of coaching as he was appointed as Middlesbrough U23s Head Coach and, thoroughly, impressed in his role amongst his peers in Teeside.

Lee replaced Dave Challinor, who departed for Stockport County, in December 2021 and, so far, he's picked up four points from a possible nine.

Stadium

The Suit Direct Stadium (Victoria Park)

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Capacity: 7,856

Opened: 1886

Record attendance: 17,264 (vs Manchester United in 1957)

Match Officials

The official in the middle for the game is Scott Oldham.

Scott Oldham.jpg

Oldham last officiated a Latics game in August 2021 as we beat Tranmere Rovers on penalties after a 2-2 scoreline in the Carabao Cup at Boundary Park. On that day, he handed out two yellow cards and zero red cards.

He's taken charge of 22 games, so far, this campaign, handing out a total of 67 yellow cards and two red cards.

Oldham will be assisted by Johnathon Bickerdike and Helen Edwards, with Simon Clayton as the Fourth Official.

Sky Bet Odds

The hosts are priced at 21/20 for the three points whereas Latics can be found at 5/2.

A draw is situated at 23/10. 

Please gamble responsibly by clicking here. For more information visit: www.begambleaware.org

How To Follow The Game

Live commentary is available on iFollow Latics with Roy Butterworth and Michael Brown who will be talking you through the match action.

Unfortunately, an iFollow match pass stream isn't available in the UK due to the 3pm blackout from broadcasters.

For more information, visit the iFollow Latics page by clicking here.

Alternatively, supporters can also follow the game with live updates on the club's official Twitter account: @OfficialOAFC.


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