Hartlepool United v Wrexham
Location: Victoria Park
Competition: Vanarama National League
After two weeks away Dean Keates’ Wrexham are finally back in action as we make the long trip to face Hartlepool United at Victoria Park.
Wrexham come into the game on the back of our biggest win of the season after pushing Torquay United aside with a 4-0 win. A Chris Holroyd hatrick – the first Wrexham player to grab one since 2013 – and Manny Smith’s effort sealed three points in a pulsating game at the Racecourse. This Saturday’s clash will be Wrexham’s first away match in almost a month, the last time we played on the road was on Boxing Day where we drew 1-1 with Barrow. In between then our trip to Gateshead was postponed and we also met Barrow once more on New Year’s Day, where a thrilling 3-3 draw in controversial circumstances ended the clash.
As for Hartlepool, manager Craig Harrison will be looking to end the clubs terrible run of form that sees them without a win in their last eight games in all competitions. However, the on field worries of the Monkey Hangers is the least of their concern, with a bumper crowd expected this weekend in order to raise vital funds in the club hierarchy’s own battle against administration and a possible points deduction, which could see them fall into the relegation zone. Supporters from all over the north-east and even Scotland will be looking to boost funds for the club this weekend.
Wrexham could hand strike Scott Quigley his debut this weekend having signed this week on loan from Blackpool. There’s some added spice with the forward taking on his former New Saints of Llansantffraid manager Harrison with whom Quigley earned his Football League move to in the summer of 2017. Now the forward has the chance to get some minutes, and hopefully goals, under his belt.
As for the Pools, midfielder Michael Woods knows all about what United mean to the town having spent four years with the side, and will be desperate to end the terrible run in front of the packed crowd. He netted twice in their last match away at Dagenham & Redbridge but it wasn’t enough to stop them going down 4-2.
Last time out things ended all square as neither side could find an opener in front of a crowd of 4,144. Our first ever meeting came on August 27th 1921 with Hartlepool (or Hartlepools as they were known) running out 2-0 winners. Our first ever trip to Victoria Park came a week later on September 3rd where Wrexham this time took the spoils in a 1-0 win. This fixture is notable for some incredible scorelines with to many 6-0’s, 5-3’s, 5-0’s etc to mention! But two games stand out in particular. In January 1933 Wrexham hammered the Pools 8-1 at the Racecourse, and that seemed like it would never be beaten. However, in March 1962 a rampant Wrexham ran out 10-1 victors whilst making history for the first ever Football League match to have three different hatrick scorers! Finally, Juan Ugarte bagged five goals against United back in 2005 in a spectacular 4-6 Wrexham win in the North-East.
Wrexham defender Olly Marx is still out with injury and is in the middle of his recovery, Scott Quigley could also be in line for his debut. Scott Boden, Kevin Roberts and James Jennings have all recovered fully from illness.
Can't make it to Victoria Park? You can follow the game with FREE live commentary on Calon FM, Mixlr, the TuneIn app, 105fm or online. You can also access live text commentary on Twitter @Wrexham_AFC. Following the game, you can catch our highlights on YouTube - 'Wrexham AFC'.