Hartlepool United-Doncaster Rovers: Thomas out for Pools

Rhys Oates: Starting spot
Rhys Oates: Starting spot

Matthew Bates made two changes for Hartlepool United's do-or-die League Two clash with Doncaster Rovers at the Northern Gas & Power Stadium.

Nathan Thomas was ruled out with a knee problem, so Rhys Oates started up front, while Liam Donnolly returned from suspension and was preferred to Jordan Richards at right-back.

Doncaster boss Darren Ferguson brought in Andy Williams up front for the title chasers.

Pools have to win in front of the Sky Sports cameras and hope Newport draw or lose at home to Notts County.

The gravity of the occasion is clear, with the club’s unbroken 96-year membership of the Football League dependent on the scorelines at the Vic and Rodney Parade.

Much is riding on the result for Rovers who must better the result of Plymouth at Grimsby.

In fact, depending on results, Portsmouth, at home to Cheltenham, could win it should Plymouth and Doncaster both falter this evening.

Pools: Carson, Donnelly, Walker, Harrison, Magnay, Featherstone, Woods, Hawkins, Alessandra, Amond, Oates.

Subs: Fryer, Richards, Deverdics, Smith, Rodney, Rooney, Simpson.

Doncaster: Lawlor, Alcock, Wright, Butler, Mason, Blair, McCullough, Coppinger, Rowe, Marquis, Williams.

Subs: McSheffrey, Grant, Marosi, Mandeville, Taylor-Sinclair, May, Keegan

Referee: Mark Brown