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Match Previews

Match preview: Morecambe v Hartlepool United

20 September 2022

Match Previews

Match preview: Morecambe v Hartlepool United

20 September 2022

Hartlepool United are the visitors to the Mazuma Stadium as the Shrimps continue their Papa John's Trophy campaign on Tuesday night.

Derek Adams' side drew 3-3 in their Northern Group A opener against Everton U21s back in August, before picking up a bonus point after defeating The Toffees on penalties.

The Pools picked up maximum points against Harrogate Town in their first fixture of the competition and sit just above Morecambe in first place.

The two teams met at this stage of the EFL Trophy in the 2021/22 campaign at the Suit Direct Stadium. Matthew Daly struck first before a Shane McLoughlin chip and a Callum Jones penalty fired the Shrimps into the lead, only for Daly to equalise seven minutes from time. The North-East side converted four penalties from four, winning the bonus point in the process.

The opposition 

United have struggled in their opening 11 games in all competitions, having won only once in the previously mentioned 2-0 victory over Harrogate Town in the Papa John's Trophy.

As well as their 4-0 Carabao Cup defeat against Blackburn Rovers, Hartlepool have played nine in Sky Bet League Two, drawing four and losing five. As a result, they find themselves second bottom in the table, two points above rock bottom Rochdale.

The club announced the sackings of manager Paul Young as well as his assistant Gordon Young on Sunday, one day after losing away at Sutton United. On the same day, Keith Curle was appointed as interim manager, although the former Carlisle United and Oldham Athletic gaffer will miss Tuesday night's fixture. Former United midfielder Anthony Sweeney will take charge.

Key players

Hartlepool's most prolific player so far this campaign has been Josh Umerah, who has scored three goals and provided one assist in eight League Two appearances. The 25-year-old is no stranger to goals, having netted 29 times in 120 National League games. Despite his young age, the London-born striker has experience across various leagues, including the Championship, League One and the Scottish Premiership.

Summer arrival Wes McDonald joined the club after leaving Morecambe by mutual consent. The 25-year-old has hit the ground running in the North East, scoring two goals in six League Two matches, and picked up the Man of the Match award on his debut for the club.

Former Shrimps goalkeeper Kyle Letheren arrived at Hartlepool in a duo player/goalkeeper coach role back in June. The Welshman is no stranger to Morecambe fans, players and staff alike, having played a key role in the Club's 2020/21 promotion winning season. The 34-year-old linked up with his former boss Derek Adams at the Club in January 2021 after previously playing under the gaffer at Plymouth Argyle. 

Derek Adams' pre-match thoughts

Similarly to last month's fixture against Everton U21s, Adams says whilst he may make changes, the ultimate goal is to progress as far as possible in the competition.

He said: “It’s only right we do that because we’ve got a lot of fixtures to play in a short space of time, we’ve got players who want game time and need game time, we’ll do that on Tuesday night.

“We want to try and progress through the section, but coming off Saturday’s result against Forest Green, we’ll look at changing the squad up.

“What it does give to the ones [coming in] is a home game to play at the home stadium and gives themselves 90 minutes.”

Meet the officials 

Martin Woods will take charge of Tuesday night's encounter, with Nik Barnard and Lewis Raper running the lines, and Helen Conley completing the officiating line-up as fourth official.

Having taken charge of six games so far this campaign, four in League Two, one in League One and the other in the Papa John's Trophy, Woods has handed out 19 yellow cards and two red cards.

The referee will be making his Mazuma Stadium debut on Tuesday evening, having never taken charge of the Shrimps before. 


After teaming up with Beyond Radio for the 2022/23 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 on 103.5FM, 107.5FM and DAB+ digital radio across North Lancashire and South Cumbria as well as on the iFollow Shrimps platform.
Dave Salmon will be on hand to provide kick-by-kick coverage, with video passes available through the Club's iFollow service for £10. 
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 much more!

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