Preview – Hartlepool United (Away)
Bucks look to make a splash in the FA Trophy against Pools
Hartlepool United vs AFC Telford United
Buildbase FA Trophy Second Round
Saturday 12th January 2019, 3pm kick off
This weekend sees the Bucks face off against Hartlepool United at Victoria Park in the FA Trophy second round.
Pools were relegated from the English Football League for the first time in their history in 2017, ending a 96-year stint in England’s top four divisions. And their time in non league since has featured ups and downs both on and off the field.
Former TNS boss Craig Harrison was selected as the man to lead Pools into their first ever season in non league, with the County Durham club expected to challenge towards the top of the table. However, a number of poor performances and results culminated in Harrison being shown the door after just 36 games. Off the field meanwhile, Pools were plagued by financial uncertainty, and it looked for a time as though they might go out of business.
The picture finally got a little rosier for Pools this summer. Matthew Bates had taken caretaker charge of the club last February and steered Pools to a 15th place finish. Then in June, local businessman Raj Singh bought the club and secured it’s immediate financial future.
Bates was subsequently given the manager’s job on a full time basis. But after an encouraging start to the current campaign, Hartlepool lost eight out of nine, and Bates was dismissed in November.
His replacement, Richard Money, was appointed in mid-December. And in his first game in charge, the new boss led Pools to a 1-0 Trophy success at Leamington. In their five league games since, Money's side have recorded one win, two draws and two defeats, including last weekend's 2-1 home loss to lowly Maidstone United.
Telford's top scorer last season, Marcus Dinanga, spent the first half of the current campaign on loan at Hartlepool. Dinanga, who recently returned to the New Bucks Head on a permanent deal, misses out on a swift return to Victoria Park as he is cup tied, having played for Pools at Leamington.
Both the Bucks and Pools were knocked out at the first round stage of last season’s Trophy competition – the Bucks losing 1-0 at Blyth; Pools losing 1-0 at Workington. But having already improved on last season’s showing, both teams will still want to progress as far as they can in the competition this time around.
AFC Telford United: L-W-W-W-W
Last result: AFC Telford United 2-1 Spennymoor Town
League position: 4th (National League North)
Top scorer: Daniel Udoh (16)
Hartlepool United: D-L-D-W-L
Last result: Hartlepool United 1-2 Maidstone United
League position: 14th (National League Premier)
Top scorer: Liam Noble (12)
Hartlepool United Football Club
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