Wealdstone v Hartlepool United - Match Preview
Wealdstone v Hartlepool United Vanarama National League Grosvenor Vale
Saturday 17th April, 12:30pm kick-off
This game will take place behind closed doors.
HOW TO WATCH
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions enforced on outdoor spectator sport, this game will currently take place behind closed doors. You can purchase a streaming pass for the fixture by clicking HERE, where commentator Tim Parks will be joined by Stones striker Ross Lafayette this week.
THE CONTEXT Hartlepool United sit perched on top of the non-league pyramid as they travel to The Vale this weekend after last weekend's big 2-0 win over fellow promotion chasers Notts County and title rivals Sutton United slipping to a 1-0 defeat at home to third-placed side Torquay United. Wealdstone remained in 18th following the midweek fixtures and they will be looking to improve on a late 3-1 defeat away to local rivals Boreham Wood last week. The game has been brought forward to a 12:30pm kick off this weekend along with all the other National League fixtures, in order to avoid a clash with the funeral of His Royal Highness, Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh.
TEAM NEWS Ashley Charles returns from his two-match suspension although the Stones will now be without Craig Fasanmade who will serve a three-match ban pending an appeal for his straight red away to Boreham Wood. George Shelvey made his debut in last week's defeat at Meadow Park after joining on loan from Nottingham Forest. It could be a final Stones game for fellow Forest loanee Riley Harbottle who's one-month deal will expire after this game, although Joseph Olowu is expected to return to the side soon after a calf injury. Defenders Nikola Tavares, George Langston and Josh Meekings remain sidelined.
FORM GUIDE Stones: Boreham Wood (A) 3-1 L (Mendy)
Barnet (H) 5-1 W (Okimo, Lewis 2, Fasanmade, Mendy) Bromley (A) 2-2 D (Gondoh, Smith)
Solihull Moors (A) 3-0 L
Woking (H) 0-1 L
Hartlepool United: Notts County (H) 2-0 W (Holohan, Bennett) Boreham Wood (A) 2-2 D (Holohan, Bennett) Dagenham & Redbridge (H) 2-1 W (Oates, Holohan) Stockport County (A) 1-1 D (Holohan) Dagenham & Redbridge (A) 0-1 W (Armstrong)
WHAT WAS SAID Stuart Maynard: "They're a good team with good players all over the pitch, they move the ball really well and got two front lads that run the channels excellent for them and help get them up the pitch, it's going to be a really tough test. We've got a week to prepare which is good, we'll watch them on video and be ready."
WHO TO WATCH FOR? Rhys Oates: Pools 26-year old winger Oates proved his versatility in their 2-2 draw at Boreham Wood last week, stepping in goal when keeper Ben Killip withdrew through injury with the Pools having no sub keeper, his one-hour cameo proved to be vital as he didn't concede a goal. But Oates has raised more eyebrows for his performances on the pitch this season scoring nine goals, the third of which coming against the Stones in the Pools 3-1 win at Victoria Park back in January. Oates is in his second spell at the Pools after playing for them in EFL League Two between 2015 to 2017, which has been his only foray into the Football League so far. If he and the Pools continue their rich form, they both look set to return there.
Played - 1 Won - 0 Drawn - 0 Lost - 1
LAST MEETING January 2021 - Hartlepool United 3-1 Stones (Mendy)
We would like to thank Harrow Windows who are sponsoring Saturday's National League as match sponsors, and would also like to thank ball sponsor Neale Harvey.
Preview by Chris Woods