All you need to know and more ahead of Hartlepool tripHartlepool United v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 18th October 2014, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
• Hatters unbeaten in six games (W5, D1)
• Hartlepool 21st, taken 11 points from 12 games
• Head2Head: Town wins: 9, Hartlepool wins: 7, Draws: 1
WHO? Hartlepool United, aka the Pools, aka the Monkey Hangers. The club are known as Pools as they were once known as Hartlepools United, whilst their Monkey Hangers moniker takes a little more explanation. According to local folklore the term originates from an incident in which a monkey was hanged in Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic War a French ship was wrecked off the cost of the town with the only survivor a monkey dressing in uniform. Believing it be a French spy the creature was the hanged and ever since the term has been attached to the town.
LET’S TALK FOOTBALL. Enough of this hanging malarkey, the town’s football club play their home matches at Victoria Park and were founded back in 1908. Pools finished 19th in League 2 last term and have never played above the third tier.
HOW TO GET THERE. The trip to the North East is one of the Town’s longest of the season, some 227 miles from the Maple Road car park to Victoria Park. On a good day it should take just a smidgen over four hours in the car. *deep breath* Coming off the A1 take the A19 and from the A19 take the A689 towards Hartlepool. Stay on this road following the town centre signs for 2.8 miles, over two roundabouts. Go straight over the next two sets of lights, passing Hartlepool College on your right. The next left takes you to the stadium. There is a fair sized car park at the ground. For the sat-nav savvy punch in TS24 8BZ to get you there.
BOB IT. If you don’t fancy driving 454 miles, let someone else (preferably a certified coach driver) do it for you. The Bobbers Travel Club are running a coach to Victoria Park. They depart the Luton bus station at the bright and early time at 8.30am. The fare is £33 for adults and £30 for concessions. Call 01234 856542 to book your place.
TICKETS PLEASE! Over 400 Hatters fans have already snapped up discounted-priced tickets from the ticket office and supporters have until 3pm on Friday to take advantage of up to a £5 saving. If you’ve missed the boat, don’t worry, admission is still available on the turnstile. Click here for ticket information.
HAVEN’T WE MET BEFORE? The two clubs have met 17 times in total down the years with the Town holding sway in the head-to-head record with nine wins to Pools’ seven. Only once have the two sides drawn a game. At Victoria Park, however, the Town have won three to Hartlepool’s six. Two of the Hatters’ wins at VP came in the Football League came during seasons that the Town went on to win promotion (December 2001 and February 2005). The Hatters were hammered 4-0 in the last meeting in the North East in League 1 in February 2008.
OLD BOYS NETWORK. Steve Howard is perhaps the best-known player to have represented both clubs. The centre-forward first signed professional forms whilst with Pools, joining from Tow Law Town. He moved to Northampton before being snapped up by Joe Kinnear in 2001. Howard went onto enjoy huge success at Kenilworth Road, scoring 103 goals in 228 appearances. The Town signed Adam Boyd from Hartlepool in 2006 but he never truly reached his potential with the Hatters and returned to the North East in 2009. Manager Mike Newell also managed both clubs, and guided both the Town and Hartlepool to promotion.
THIS TIME ROUND. Last weekend their mammoth trip to Exeter saw Pools return to the North East with a 2-1 win to lift themselves off the bottom of League 2. Currently at the helm is caretaker boss Sam Collins who took over following Colin Cooper’s decision to resign following the 3-0 home defeat to Carlisle two weeks ago. Before that win down in Devon, United had won just twice. At home Pools have won just once: a 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury on 6th September. Only Blackpool (with six) have scored fewer goals than the Monkey Hangers in the Football League, with the VP faithful cheering just seven times in 12 matches this season – with just two of those coming at home.
DO MENTION. Jeff Stelling is one of their most famous fans, whilst the late, great Brian Clough cut his teeth in management with the club back in the mid-1960s.
DON’T MENTION. Darlington. Not their cup of tea, even if they don’t exist anymore (they do, in the shape of Darlington 1883 in the Northern Premier League First Division North).
DID YOU KNOW? In ye olde days of re-election – where clubs in the Football League, until 1986, had to reapply to keep their place in the League and not get relegated – Hartlepool reapplied a record 14 times between 1924 and 1984 and were never voted out of the League.
MINUTE'S APPLAUSE.There will be a minute's applause before kick-off on Saturday to remember former Pools player Michael Maidens. Full story here.
REF WATCH. Man-in-the-middle Paul Tierney takes charge of his second Luton game this season, his first being the League Cup tie against Swindon that saw him dismiss Luke Rooney. That red card is one of four he has shown in 12 matches this season.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. The Hatters are likely to be unchanged after last weekend’s 2-0 win over Oxford. Ricky Miller has been recalled from his loan spell at Dover that saw him score five goals in 10 games. He may join Luke Rooney, who has recovered from a knee injury, in the Town squad. Jake Howells, Fraser Franks, Curtley Williams and Paul Connolly are all back in training but are unlikely to feature.
AWAY THE LADS. The Town will be playing in orange shirts, white shorts and orange socks. So pack the home kit (as well as the thermal tops and trousers, etc).
LIVE AND ONLINE.Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from Victoria Park. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself.
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