Preview: Alfie Lumb
The Terras travel North to take on Hartlepool United in the final game of the Vanarama National League this Saturday Lunch time.
Brian Stock’s side go into the game with just one win in their last 5 games, a 2-1 victory at home to Altrincham earlier this month. Their last game, away to promotion chasing Notts County ended in defeat in front of over 4000 spectators. Despite some spectacular saves from Ethan Ross to deny the Magpies’ strike force, the home side took the lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute. The Terras took another blow 4 minutes later when Kyle Wooton’s first time shot zipped past Ross to make it 2-0. County took control of the game from that point on and capped their scoring off in the 64th minute with a quick counter attack culminating in Boldewijn netting his seventh of the season.
Saturday’s opponents, Hartlepool, are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. However, if Weymouth win and Notts County beat Bromley, the Monkey Hangers drop to 5th. If the Terras were to lose and Yeovil beat Stockport, then Hartlepool rise to 3rd.
The Pools previous game was against table topping Sutton United, with the Champions running out 3-0 winners.
The northern side have scored an impressive 62 goals this season, including a 7-2 thrashing of Wealdstone back in April. Richie Bennett bagged a hattrick in that win whilst Rhys Oates scored a brace. The latter has scored 14 times so far this season and will be a major threat to the Terras’ goal.
When the sides met earlier in the season it was dubbed as one of the shocks of the season. Hartlepool had won their last 4 games in a row, whereas the Terras had not won in 10 games prior to the clash. A Josh McQuoid header delivered by Ollie Harfield was the only goal to separate the sides. All hope of a comeback was lost in the second half as 11 minutes after being part of a triple substitution to inject the game with some attack, Molyneux saw red for a harsh tackle.
Overall, one would be reluctant to write the Terras off. After all, Stock has masterminded several victories against teams at the top. This time however, Hartlepool will have their fans backing them. It’s sure to be a mouth-watering tie.