A look ahead to tomorrow's trip to Hartlepool...
Sky Bet League 2
Tuesday 9th February 2016
Victoria Park, Clarence Road Hartlepool TS24 8BZ
Referee: Ben Toner
Tickets are now off-sale from Stevenage but you can still buy on the turnstiles at Hartlepool. Remember prices have been reduced and are now just £12 adults and £5 concessions.
Michael Tonge remains out with the hamstring injury sustained at York last weekend. Chris Whelpdale (groin), Jerome Okimo (knee), Ben Kennedy (knee), Dave McAllister (knee) and Steve Schumacher (ACL) all miss out and the game is likely to come too soon for Adam Marriott, who is expected back in training this week after a calf strain.
For Hartlepool, Luke James is in line to make his second debut for Hartlepool after he moved back to The Vic on loan from Peterborough United on Deadline Day. Club Captain Billy Paynter is also pressing his claims for a starting spot after scoring in two Reserve games and featuring from the bench against Exeter City last weekend following an Achilles injury. Carl Magnay was also used as a substitute in the last Pools outing after shaking off a troublesome groin problem and the summer signing will also be considered for a start on Tuesday night.
The story so far…
Hartlepool currently sit in 22nd place in Sky Bet League 2 with 24 points, four less than Stevenage. However Pools currently have at least three games in hand on most clubs and five on Boro, thanks to a variety of cup fixtures and bad weather leading to a number of postponed fixtures. That included Saturday's trip to Notts County, which means Ronnie Moore's men should be fresh after a 10 day gap since their 2-0 home defeat against Exeter City.
From 13 home games this season Hartlepool have four wins, two draws and seven defeats, during which they've scored 13 and conceded 19. They come into this game on a run of just one win in their last 8 games, that being a 1-0 home win over Wycombe in mid-January.
Head to Head:
Stevenage have a superb record against Hartlepool, being unbeaten in our eight previous meetings and winning six of those games. Boro have only ever conceded three times against Pools and with two of those goals being in the first meeting between the two sides in 2011 – a 2-2 draw at The Lamex Stadium – it’s just one goal conceded in our last seven matches. However with Stevenage currently shipping the most goals in Sky Bet League 2 it’ll be a tough task to keep that record intact.
Defender Harry Worley is the only current Hartlepool player to have featured for Stevenage. The centre-back is currently out with an ankle injury though and won’t play in this game. Others to have turned out for both clubs include Peter Hartley and Simon Walton.
Brett Williams scoring against Hartlepool earlier in the season
Our last meeting:
Stevenage earned their first win of the season with a 2-0 home win against Hartlepool back in late-August. A header from Fraser Franks gave Boro the lead on the stroke of half-time and Brett Williams scored with a neat finish to seal the win just two minutes from time.
Stevenage: Day, Franks, Hughes, Wells, Ogilvie, Schumacher, Gorman (Whelpdale), Gordon, Lee (Hitchcock), Akinyemi (Pett), Williams
Betting with Sky Bet:
Stevenage are 9/5 to win at Hartlepool although if you fancy backing Pat Hoban to score in a 1-0 win you’ll get odds of 35/1.
Pools striker Luke James is 6/1 to be the first goalscorer on his return to Victoria Park whilst a goalless draw is available at 10/1.
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Live commentary, social media & online coverage:
Can’t make it? Listen to the game live on the Boro Player HD service from 19.30 tomorrow where Steve Watkins will be leading the commentary as usual.
Our Twitter page is the place to be locked in on a matchday as we provide live minute-by-minute updates during the game as well as all of the up-to-date info and plenty of fun too.
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If you aren’t following us on Instagram yet then you should be – all the best photos from before, during and after the game will be uploaded here.