The Shrimps resume their Papa John’s Trophy Northern Group A campaign with a visit to Victoria Park to face Sky Bet League Two side Hartlepool United.
In the opening game of the competition, Stephen Robinson’s men fell to a narrow home defeat at the hands of Everton U21s, with Sean McAllister securing the points for the Merseyside club on the night. Dave Challinor’s side also tasted defeat against Carlisle United which saw an entertaining 3-3 draw go to penalties with the Blues edging the shootout by four goals to three.
The two sides have met in EFL-related competitions on 10 occasions, with the Shrimps winning three of those meetings, drawing one and losing six. The most recent game came in the FA Cup in November 2017 where Jim Bentley’s men overcame the County Durham outfit 3-0 at the Globe Arena, with goals coming from Kevin Ellison, Andy Fleming and a Scott Loach own goal.
Hartlepool United enjoyed a largely successful 2020/21 campaign, resulting in a Play-Off Final win over Torquay United, that saw the club promoted to Sky Bet League Two, their first time in the fourth tier of English football since 2017.
After their opening 10 league games, the Victoria Park side currently sit in 13th position after winning four, drawing two and losing four. Notable results include an opening day victory over Crawley Town, a 2-0 home win against Walsall as well as a 1-0 triumph over Bristol Rovers, who were relegated from League One last season.
Dave Challinor was appointed manager in November 2019 following eight years at AFC Fylde. Since arriving at Victoria Park, the 46-year-old has taken charge of 81 matches. Of those, he has won 38, drawn 20 and lost 23. Under his tenure, he has seen his side score 128 goals and concede 99, totalling 134 points which averages out at 1.65 points per match.
Dave Challinor’s pre-match thoughts
Ahead of the cup clash, Chester-born Challinor says he hopes the changes he makes will give players the opportunity to impress.
He said: “Most of the forward players that didn’t play today [Saturday] will start the game.
“If they go into that game and they produce a performance physically that we want, and technically, tactically what we want, and they put the ball in the goal or play a part in us being successful, then there’s a good chance that they’ll start on Saturday.
“We’re at a point now where, the crooks of it is, we need to start sticking the ball in the back of the net more frequently with the players we’ve got on the pitch.”
United’s key players
Left midfielder Tyler Burey currently tops the leading goalscoring table for Pool, with three goals in five League Two appearances. The 20-year-old is currently on-loan from Millwall on a deal that runs until January. Despite his age, Burey already boasts 14 Championship appearances to his name, accruing over 140 minutes of second tier football for the Lions.
20-year-old Matty Daly joined the County Durham side on a season-long loan from Championship side Huddersfield Town. The attacking midfielder has played twice for the Terriers in the Premier League as well as nine times in the Championship, scoring once against Charlton Athletic. The Stockport-born man has also represented England at youth level on nine occasions, scoring once for the U17s.
Experienced defender Luke Hendrie signed for Hartlepool in August 2021 following a two-and-a-half year stint with Grimsby Town. The 27-year-old 6ft 2 man has accumulated over 220 career appearances to date, 32 of which came in the Scottish Premiership for Kilmarnock. The Leeds-born man also made three appearances for England U17s in 2010.
Shrimps’ pre-match thoughts
Stephen Robinson says that, whilst he will be making changes to his starting XI, said changes will be essential and will provide players with the opportunity to impress.
“I’ll make a lot of changes,” he said.
“The changes that I make are a necessity, they have to get game time, this is a tough league, it’s non-stop, and we have to have people ready to go when we need them, so I will make a lot of changes.
“All boys that I believe should be in our first team anyway, and a couple of the younger boys will play, and give them game time.”
Don’t miss a kick with our iFollow coverage
After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2021/22 season, supporters will be able to listen to exclusive, full and uninterrupted radio commentary of every single game, home and away, which will be broadcast simultaneously across North Lancashire on 103.5 and 107.5FM, as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
Joining host Dave Salmon is the club’s media assistant Matt Smith, audio passes are available from as little as £2.50 per match, £4.49 for a monthly pass or £45 for a season pass.
As well as full match commentary, the ‘Shrimps Verdict’ podcast will be available post-match, featuring online, on demand content, including audio match highlights, post-match interviews and reaction, and the chance for supporters to have their say.