Match Preview: Hartlepool United vs Swindon Town

Form Guide… 

In pre season Swindon have played 7 matches, winning 5, drawing 1 and suffering 1 defeat against Crystal Palace. In midweek Town pulled out a brilliant second half performance to stun Brighton & Hove Albion with a comfortable 3-0 win in the League Cup.

Hartlepool United played 10 pre-season friendlies, winning 3 – including a 1-0 win over Sunderland, drawing 3 and defeated in 4 matches against Telstar, Almere City, Newcastle United and Spennymoor Town. The Monkey Hangers were dumped out of the League Cup last weekend after a 5-0 thrashing by Crewe Alexandra at Gresty Road. Head-to-Head…

In all League, FA Cup and Football League competitions, Town have faced Hartlepool United on 27 occasions, winning 11, drawing 10 and defeated 6 times; scoring 37 and conceding 30.

At Victoria Park, Swindon have 4 victories, 6 draws and 3 defeats from 13 matches; scoring 14 and conceding 16.

Town have not been defeated in Hartlepool in 6 visits. The last defeat was a 3-0 victory for Hartlepool on 2nd April 2005 in a League One match courtesy of goals from Joel Porter, Tommy Butler and Ritchie Humphreys. History Book…

One of the perennial sides in the lowest tier of the league, Hartlepool’s first meeting with Swindon didn’t come until 1968, when they ventured out of the Fourth Division for the first time. The 0-0 draw was notable only for an injury to Town stalwart John Trollope – a broken arm ending a run of 368 consecutive appearances – the injury later threatening to keep Trollope out of the Town’s League Cup winning side.

After that season, with the Town promoted to Division Two, the two sides didn’t meet again until the eighties, when Swindon were relegated to Division Four for the first time. Bizarrely, Hartlepool’s first victory over the Town came in the 1985/86 championship winning season, the 1-0 defeat late in September leaving Swindon in 21st position, fourteen points behind leaders Colchester, and showing little sign of the success that was to follow. Memorable Match… Swindon 1 Hartlepool 1 | League Two | 8th May 2004

Sitting in fifth and sixth place respectively, Swindon and Hartlepool go into the last game of the season both requiring a draw to confirm their play-off place – and though most predict a dull no-score draw, a fluke from Sammy Igoe puts the Town one up. With Swindon on top in the first half, Hartlepool come out all guns blazing for the second – when they equalise with twenty minutes remaining, the remainder of the game sees the strange sight of both sides keeping the ball to hold onto the point they both need.

My prediction… 

Our midweek win may have raised expectations in some quarters, however a trip to Hartlepool represents an entirely different proposition. Having said that I can only see a victory for Town, 2-0 and three points in the bag.

Come on You Reds!

unfortunately no stats this week as there hasn’t been any games…

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