Hartlepool United v Wealdstone - Match Preview
Hartlepool United v Wealdstone Vanarama National League Victoria Park
Saturday 9th January, 3:00pm kick-off
HOW TO WATCH
Due to England being placed in another COVID lockdown, elite football being played in that area is required to be done so behind closed doors. The hosts are streaming this fixture live and you can purchase your streaming pass HERE.
THE CONTEXT Wealdstone have had a while to stew over Boxing Day's heavy 4-0 defeat away to Maidenhead as a confirmed COVID case in the squad has forced us to self isolate between now and then, causing the postponement of the return fixture and a game against Boreham Wood sandwiched in between. In the meantime, the Pools have managed to get some football played, beating both FC Halifax Town and Notts County which has propelled them into second position. Stones lack of gametime meanwhile, has seen them drop from 8th to 14th.
TEAM NEWS Stones boss Dean Brennan has added to the defence after experienced defender Rob Swaine joined on a dual registration from Brentwood Town on New Year's Eve and Moses Emmanuel completed his return from injury on Boxing Day. Both Rhys Browne and Charlie Wakefield left the club in midweek and the trio of Connor Stevens, Ross Lafayette and Danny Parish remain the only doubts.
FORM GUIDE Stones: Maidenhead United (A) 4-0 L Eastleigh (H) 4-3 W (Wakefield, Cawley, Lewis, Mendy) Weymouth (H) 2-1 W (Lewis, Cawley) Barnet (A) 0-0 D Torquay United (H) 1-2 L (Parish)
Hartlepool United: Notts County (A) 0-1 W (Armstrong) FC Halifax Town (H) 3-1 W (Johnson, Oates, Bloomfield) Stockport County (H) 4-0 W (Oates, Johnson, Armstrong 2) FC Halifax Town (A) 3-3 L (Williams, Featherstone, Holohan) Lost 4-2 on penalties Woking (A) 3-0 L
WHO TO WATCH FOR? Ben Killip: Widely regarded as the best keeper in the division, Killip joined Hartlepool in May 2019 from relegated Braintree Town and has made the number 1 spot his own since arriving at the club. A keeper that commands his area well and is a phenomenal shot stopper, the Stones front line will have a task to net past this keeper who kept a clean sheet away to Notts County in his last outing.
This will be the first meeting between the two sides.
Preview by Chris Woods