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Opposition Guide: Hartlepool United

25 February 2022

We take a closer look at Saturday's opponents Hartlepool United in our opposition guide.

FULL NAME: HARTLEPOOL UNITED

NICKNAMES: POOLS, THE MONKEY HANGERS

FOUNDED: 1908

STADIUM: VICTORIA PARK

LAST SEASON: 4TH (NATIONAL LEAGUE)

CURRENT POSITION: 12TH (LEAGUE TWO)  

 

MANAGER: GRAEME LEE

Graeme Lee replaced Dave Challinor, who left to join Stockport County, back in December 2021.

Under his guidance, Hartlepool have climbed the table and are now in the top half of the division after a run of just two league defeats in 13 matches.

He also led them to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup where they were rewarded with a trip to Premier League outfit Crystal Palace.

Picture: Hartlepool United

Pools are also in the semi-final of the Papa John’s Trophy.

The 43-year-old previously worked as Middlesbrough’s Under 23s Head Coach.

He spent eight years at Victoria Park as a player between 1995 and 2003.

 

TOP SCORER: LUKE MOLYNEUX

Luke Molyneux tops Hartlepool’s scoring charts with eight goals in all competitions so far this season.

The 23-year-old winger is a real threat with his direct play and skill.

He began his career at Sunderland where he played 13 times. He enjoyed a loan spell at Gateshead and Hartlepool before he made the move permanent in the summer of 2019.

 

CAPTAIN: NICKY FEATHERSTONE

The Pools skipper is a familiar face to Saddlers fans.

The experienced midfielder spent two years at the Banks’s Stadium from 2012 to 2014 and made 64 appearances for the Saddlers.

After a brief loan spell with Harrogate Town, he joined Hartlepool in October 2014 and has played 330 times and played a key role in helping them win promotion to the EFL last season.

 

FORM GUIDE

Last six (all competitions): WDWWWL

Hartlepool head into the game on a good run of form.

They have suffered just one defeat in their last 10 outings in all competitions and that came away at Premier League side Crystal Palace.

They're currently on an eight match unbeaten run in the league and have lost just two of their last 13 league matches.

Their away form has been their achilles heel this season with just three league victories on the road out of 16.

It's been a complete contrast for them at home with nine wins, five draws and just two defeats.

 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Walsall and Hartlepool have met a total of 54 times in all competitions but under several different forms.

As fellow founding members of the new Football League Third Division South, the Saddlers first met then Hartlepools United back in October 1921 with a 3-1 win at Fellows Park. A name change in 1968 saw them play a decade as just Hartlepool before settling on Hartlepool United in 1977.


Graphic by Edward Martin

You don't get much more of an even affair than this with 18 wins a piece and 18 draws but the Banks's Stadium has definitely proved a difference maker with the Pools claiming victory here just once since 1995.


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