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Opposition profile: Hartlepool United

9 December 2021

For the second game in a row, we face a side that's seen a recent change in management as we make the trip to take on Hartlepool United this Saturday (3pm kick-off).


Ex-Hartlepool defender Graeme Lee was appointed as their new boss last week, leaving his position as Middlesbrough U23s coach, with fellow former Pools and Iron centre-back Michael Nelson joining as assistant manager.

Former Iron head of recruitment Lee Turnbull also joined the club in a consulting capacity to lead their scouting and recruitment with an immediate focus on the January transfer window.

It comes following the departure of boss Dave Challinor to National League side Stockport County.

Chairman Raj Singh said: "It was always the view that we wanted to appoint a manager and coaching team that was modern in their approach, with the capability to build on foundations that have been put in place over recent years.

"Graeme joins us from Middlesbrough where has amassed a wealth of experience over a 10-year period and alongside Michael Nelson we believe we have two very forward thinking coaches that are also strong and capable characters to lead the players and club forward.”


The Pools sit 12th in the division, having won eight, drawn two and lost eight matches.

The victories came over Crawley Town (1-0), Walsall (2-0), Carlisle (2-1), Bristol Rovers (1-0), Northampton (2-1), Bradford (3-1) and Harrogate (3-2) and Rochdale (2-1 in midweek). With the exception of the win over the Bantams, the other seven have been at Victoria Park which has proved a strong foundation for them so far this term.


Graeme Lee's first home match in charge of Hartlepool saw a five-match losing streak in League Two come to an end with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Rochdale.

Mark Shelton's tap-in deep into stoppage time ended the Dale's eight-match unbeaten run in the league.

Josh Andrews, on loan from Birmingham, finished off a fine move in the 55th minute to put Rochdale on track for three points.

But Hartlepool hit back 10 minutes later when striker Mark Cullen got on the end of Shelton's pass over the top of the defence, before the latter struck at the death.



Mark Cullen is the leading marksman so far this term with six goals to his name.

He scored 11 goals in 48 appearances for Port Vale in this division last season following successful spells with Luton and Blackpool earlier in his career.



Nicky Featherstone, who was with the Iron for a short spell in 2014, has been with the Pools ever since, making over 300 appearances for them.

The 33-year-old has started all 20 league matches so far this term.

He started his career at Hull City, and permanent spells with Hereford United, Walsall and Harrogate Town followed.



Olufela Olomola, who was with the Iron for three seasons but only made 13 appearances, with loan spells at Yeovil and Carlisle respectively, has made 10 appearances so far this term, scoring at Carlisle in the Papa John's Trophy.

He signed during the summer following a successful trial.


1 Ben Killip GK 26 Braintree 18 (0)
2 Jamie Sterry DF 26 South Shields 16 (1)
3 David Ferguson DF 27 York 17 (3)
4 Gary Liddle DF 35 Walsall 15 (0)
5 Timi Odusina DF 22 Norwich 7 (0)
6 Mark Shelton MF 25 Salford 16 (1)
7 Tyler Burey MF 20 Millwall (loan) 5 (3)
8 Nicky Featherstone MF 33 Harrogate 20 (2)
9 Mark Cullen FW 29 Port Vale 11 (4)
10 Luke Molyneux MF 23 Sunderland 19 (2)
11 Will Goodwin FW 19 Stoke City (loan) 10 (1)
12 Joe Grey FW 18 None 10 (0)
13 Patrick Boyes GK 19 Grimsby 0 (0)
14 Gavan Hoolahan MF 19 Waterford 11 (2)
15 Eddy Jones DF 20 Stoke City (loan) 3 (0)
16 Neill Byrne DF 18 FC Halifax T 19 (0)
18 Martin Smith MF 25 Chesterfield 2 (0)
19 Jordan Cook FW 31 Gateshead 3 (0)
20 Reagan Ogle DF 22 Accrington Stanley 12 (0)
22 Tom Crawford MF 22 Notts Co 4 (0)
23 Zaine Francis-Angol DF 28 Boreham Wood 14 (0)
24 Olufela Olomola FW 24 Scunthorpe 7 (0)
27 Luke Hendrie DF 27 Grimsby 7 (0)
28 Matty Daly MF 20 Huddersfield Town (loan) 17 (2)
35 Jonathan Mitchell GK 27 Derby 2 (0)
36 Mike Fondop FW 28 Burton 8 (0)

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