These sides couldn't have been feeling a greater contrast of emotions at the final whistle on Saturday. Wrexham's unbeaten run ended with a disappointing performance at Aldershot, while Hartlepool pulled off a last gasp win over Yeovil to maintain their superb home form.
That late goal meant they racked up a 7th conseutive home win, a far cry from their form before that run of results at Victoria Park: after an opening day win over Aldershot, they took just 2 home points from the next 15 available, losing to Wrexham, Boreham Wood and, most spectacularly, Torquay by 5 goals.
The pattern is reversed on the road though. The Pool got off to a flying start, winning their first 3 away games, but since then they've been victorious just twice in 9 games in all competitions. To be fair, though, one of those wins was at fellow title contenders, Notts County.
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Little did Hartlepool know, as they started that poor run of results with an FA Cup loss at Salford, that the catalyst they needed was sitting on the other side's bench. Luke Armsrong didn't get to come on in that match, but a month later he was scoring to goals on his Hartlepool debut after a loan move, and he hasn't stopped socring since. Eight goals in eleven appearances have propelled his temporary team up the table.
HARTLEPOOL LINE-UP AGAINST YEOVIL TOWN
HEAD TO HEAD
We've already met this season, of course, and the clash at Victoria Park was decided by a typical Elliott Durrell strike. It was a result which halted a 2-game losing streak against Hartlepool, and a first away win over The Pool in nearly 3 years, since Scott Quigley's outstanding debut in January 2018.
The cancellation of our scheduled home fixture last season means our last 3 games against Hartlepool took place in the north east. Our most recent clash at The Racecourse came in October 2018, when Luke Young scored the only goal.
Our only other home game in the National League came the season before, when the sides fought out a keenly-contested goalless draw.
Hartlepool were our first opponents in the Football League: we met at The Racecourse in August 1921 and The Dockers, as they were known then, triumphed 2-0. We soon got revenge though, as our next match was the return fixture, and a Reg Leck goal earned us a 1-0 win.
We entertained Hartlepool 50 times in the Football League, and despite our poor start we certainly had the better of things, winning 32 and losing 10. However, our last home games before we were relegated to the National League went The Pool's way, as they won 2 out of 3.
One of them was their biggest win at The Racecourse. in December 2018, , when we never recovered from a couple of early goals and found ourselves conceding 4 in the first half and ending up 5-1 losers. Juan Ugarte would score our consolation goal that day, and would extract full revenge later in the season, hitting 5 goals to set a club record for an away game as we triumphed 6-4.
Our last home win against them in the Football League was a crucial one. Both sides were in the promotion reckoning when they clashed in March 2003, and the game was decided by Scott Green, a recent arrival who scored both goals in a 2-0 win.