Hartlepool United v FC Halifax Town preview

Matty Kosylo in action when Halifax last met Hartlepool
Matty Kosylo in action when Halifax last met Hartlepool

FC Halifax Town kick-off their Easter double-header with a trip to Hartlepool United on Good Friday (3pm).

Hartlepool are one place below Halifax in the National League but level on points, having won 13, drawn 14 and lost 16 league games this season.

They have lost more than they’ve won at home this season in the league, and conceded more than they have scored.

Former Middlesborough defender Matthew Bates started the season in charge, but was replaced by Richard Money in December.

However, just over a month later, Money was moved upstairs to oversee recruitment and the club’s youth set-up, while director of football and former boss Craig Hignett was re-appointed as first-team manager in what was effectively a job-swap.

Since his appointment, Hignett has won four, drawn five and lost four.

Striker Luke Williams, defender Carl Magnay and midfielder Conor Newton are all long-term absentees for Hartlepool, although Magnay is thought to have an outside chance of being fit.

Town boss Jamie Fullarton says it’s very unlikely that Michael Duckworth, Niall Maher or Ryan Sellers will be fit before the end of the season.

Town are likely to be unchanged, but Fullarton could spring a surprise and hand loanee Ryan Gondoh what would be his first start after he impressed off the bench against Bromley last Saturday.

The Shaymen have won one, lost one and drawn three of their last five games, but have only won once in their last seven.

They were denied victory in their previous away game due to a last-gasp equaliser by Leyton Orient.

Only five teams have lost fewer games in the fifth tier than Halifax, but only four have won fewer matches, with Halifax’s 20 draws the highest tally in the division.

Matty Brown and Matty Kosylo (pictured) were both sent-off in the reverse fixture back in September, which Hartlepool won 2-1. Jacob Hanson scored Town’s goal late on.

Town could move as high as 12th if they win and other results go their way, but could drop to 19th if they lose and other results go against them.

Friday’s National League fixtures:

AFC Fylde v Barnet

Boreham Wood v Salford City

Bromley v Solihull Moors

Dagenham & Redbridge v Eastleigh

Dover Athletic v Aldershot Town

Gateshead v Chesterfield

Hartlepool United v FC Halifax Town

Havant & Waterlooville v Ebbsfleet United

Leyton Orient v Harrogate Town

Maidenhead United v Barrow

Maidstone United v Braintree Town

Wrexham v Sutton United