The Beavers collide with the Monkey Hangers in the FA Trophy Fourth Round proper, with Mel Gwinnett’s squad making a 420 mile round trip to Victoria Park, hoping to cause another upset against National League Opposition.
Hartlepool’s caretaker boss Lennie Lawrence has said he will be playing his strongest possible squad, as the hosts look to have an improved 2024 campaign. A recent away defeat to AFC Fylde by two goals to one will certainly raise tensions going into this game, with fans desperate for a good result to kick-start the second half of their season and avoid a relegation battle.
Former manager John Askey was replaced on December 30th, with Hartlepool lingering in the lower half of the National League Table. Since coming in, Lennie has one win and one defeat to his name.
Meanwhile, the Beavers saw their seventeen game unbeaten run come to an end last Saturday, succumbing to a 3-1 defeat away to Braintree Town. Hampton & Richmond players, staff and fans alike will be hoping to refocus without the burden of such a run, which can often paint a big target on your back. The Beavers are enjoying one of their more successful FA Trophy runs in recent years, reaching the fourth round after a pulsating and miraculous penalty shoot-out win over Southend United, previewed by a comfortable 5-1 win away to FA Cup success story Cray Valley PM.
The Beavers go into the weekend still second in the Vanarama National League South, and will be hoping to come through this fixture relatively unscathed, with Jordan Thomas picking up an ankle injury last weekend, and Sam Deadfield nearly breaking his nose against Slough Town on Boxing Day.
You can listen to full commentary on this game from 2:45 by searching “Radio Beaver Mixlr”