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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

11 February 2023 Venue The Suit Direct Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Hartlepool v Sutton preview

10 February 2023

Sutton are back on the road this Saturday, making the long trip to Hartlepool for a Sky Bet League Two game. We will be wearing our all black kit.

Hartlepool hold a special place in U's memory, with manager Matt Gray's first game in charge a 3-1 win in the North East in August 2019, and Hartlepool also providing the opposition as U's clinched promotion to the Football League in 2021. Hartlepool followed U's up through the playoffs, and finished their first season back at this level in 17th place. This season they have struggled towards the foot of the table, with manager Paul Hartley leaving the club after their 2-0 defeat at Sutton in September. The experienced Keith Curle has taken over and they go in to Saturday's game a point above the relegation zone, having secured a crucial double over rivals at the foot of the table Rochdale in December and January. They were one of the busiest League Two clubs in the January transfer window, eleven new arrivals including experienced midfielders Matty Dolan from Newport and Brendon Kiernan from Walsall, although he spent the first half of the season at Grimsby and played against U's at Blundell Park in August.

Sutton have one league defeat in the last eight games and are two points outside the play-off area. Louis John missed last week's draw against Stevenage and U's will make a late call on his fitness for the weekend. Manager Matt Gray, whose prematch interview can be found here, is likely to be forced in to one more change due to injury.

One of the EFL's most experienced officials will be in charge, with Andy Haines having been on the referees' list since 2007 although this is the first time he has taken charge of a Sutton game.

Before the game a minute's silence will be held in honour of those killed in this week's earthquake in Turkey and Syria, and any supporters wishing to donate to the DEC appeal can click on the any of the boxes on our home page.

Tickets for the game will be on sale on line until 10am on Saturday morning on this link. Choose the away supporter option to buy tickets for the Simpson Millar Stand. Prices are £20 for adults, £14 for concessions (age 65+ or 18-21/students/armed forces - ID required), £10 for under 18s, £5 for under 14s and free for under 5s. Tickets can be collected at the ground on matchday, and there is an additional £1.50 booking fee per order. Tickets can also be bought at the ground on Saturday, with a £1 increase for adult and concession tickets. 

Ambulant/wheelchair disabled fans pay their relevant age category and are entitled to a free carer if in receipt of high rate DLA or enhanced rate PIP (relevant paperwork must be produced at the time of purchase).

There will be live audio commentary on our iFollow service, with a match pass costing £2.50, although monthly passes are available at £4.49, while overseas supporters can watch the game for a £10 match fee. Click here to buy the relevant pass - the overseas option will not be visible to UK supporters.

The supporters' club coach leaves at 6.30am. For independent travellers, drivers should leave the A1(M) at junction 60 and follow the A689 all the way to Hartlepool, or leave at junction 49 and link with the A689 via the A168 and A19. When you get to the Marina area carry on at a roundabout in to Marina Way, and at the next roundabout go left in to Middleton Road and then first left in to Clarence Road. There is limited parking at the ground which can be booked in advance through the club, otherwise there is parking around the marina area and also street parking around Raby Road - carry on along Middleton Road then turn right.

By rail there are direct Grand Central services from King's Cross at 07.48 (arrive 10.55) or 11.27(arrive 14.23), with a return at 17.54 (arrive 21.00), the only available train after the game to get you back to London the same day. For the outbound journey, alternative LNER services at 08.30, 09.06 and 10.30 require two changes, at Northallerton and Thornaby on the first of those and at York and Thornaby on the other two.

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Match Reports

Match report for Hartlepool United 2 Sutton United 2

11 February 2023

Hartlepool United 2 (Kemp 43, Dodds 45+3) Sutton United 2(Ajiboye 18, Angol 31)

Having looked in command and on the way to three points after half an hour, Sutton were in the end happy to return south with a point after a mad spell at the end of the first half saw captain Craig Eastmond sent off for two yellow cards in the space of three minutes, and Hartlepool then score twice to cancel out the lead that U's had taken in a first half hour of total domination. When the half time whistle went Hartlepool supporters could have been forgiven for expecting their side to go on and grab three valuable points in their battle to pull away from the foot of the table, but Sutton regrouped for the second half and although Jack Rose had to make three decent saves there were chances at the other end as well, Angol coming close to marking his first Sutton start with a second goal.

Sutton were on the front foot from the start and should have been ahead inside the first minute when Craig Eastmond's low cross evaded Angol but fell to Ali Smith in front of an open goal but he contrived to hit the post and then scrambled the rebound wide. It set the pattern for the first half hour, and although U's lost Will Randall inside the first fifteen minutes following a heavy challenge for which Ollie Finney was booked, it wasn't long before the breakthrough came. Eastmond cut out a clearance and immediately gave Angol the chance to find Sam Hart on the left, and the full back who was startying in place of the injured Rob Milsom sent in a fine cross that was volleyed in at the far post by Ajiboye.

As U's continued to dominate Angol's shot was deflected over by Edon Pruti, and Smith was then sent clear by Ajiboye but was again unable to find the net, Jakob Stolarczyk saving his first shot and the follow up. Just after the half hour, though, Ajiboye again created a chance, this time putting Angol through the middle and with Hartlepool looking for an offside flag Angol neatly lifted the ball over Stolarczyk.

More could have followed, substitute Harry Beautyman shooting straight at Stolarczyk from Omar Bugiel's cross and Angol fizzing an effort just too high, and the raucous home support had just about been silenced when Eastmond, booked three minutes earlier for a foul to prevent Dan Kemp breaking away, slid in on the same player and left referee Andy Haines with no option but to produce a second yellow, Eastmond slightly unfortunate in slipping as he went in to the challenge but able to have no complaints.

The red card gave Hartlepool their first encouragement of the afternoon, and within three minutes two fouls by Bugiel in quick succession led to Kemp curling a superb free kick high to Rose's left to reduce the arrears. The mood now completely changed, the home side had completed the comeback before the interval as Dan Dodds collected a headed clearance from Hart and took a touch before thundering a volley beyond Rose.

U's were pleased to hear the half time whistle, but the second half started as the first had finished, with Rose having to block a Connor Jennings shot with his legs in slightly unorthodox fashion. U's rode out the early pressure, though, and Angol ran on to a through ball from Smith and saw his shot blocked by the oncoming Stolarczyk (above)

With the crowd behind them and with the extra player the home side were always a threat but Sutton defended well as the game went on, the one major scare coming when Joe Kizzi was booked for fouling Josh Umerah on the edge of the penalty area, giving Kemp another chance to show his free kick prowess but Rose this time equal to the effort with a fine save to his left. The keeper also had to make a smart stop in stoppage time to prevent Matty Dolan repeating his injury time winner for Newport last season, but it was far from one way traffic and Beautyman found himself in on the left of the penalty area but saw his shot saved as U's had to settle for a point.

Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi, S Hart, C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, D Ajiboye, E Boldewijn, A Smith, O Bugiel(sub K Kouassi 75), L Angol (sub D Wilson 85), W Randall(sub H Beautyman 14). Subs n/u B House, C Rowe, L Gambin, M Dennis. Booked: Eastmond, Bugiel, Kizzi. Sent Off: Eastmond (second yellow card).

Hartlepool: J Stolarczyk, J Sterry (sub T Foran 60), D Ferguson, D Dodds, E Pruti, M Dolan, D Kemp, N Featherstone (T Trusty 77), J Umerah, O Finney(sub J Grey 69) C Jennings(sub B Kiernan 77). Subs n/u B Killip, E Murray, M Sylla. Booked: Finney, Ferguson.

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 4,385(98 away)

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