ADAM Boyd will get a chance to sharpen his match fitness when Hartlepool United Reserves take on Grimsby Town at Billingham Town this evening (kick off 7pm).
The 28-year-old was thrown a rare start by Mick Wadsworth ahead of Saturday’s 1-0 win over Colchester, the striker lasting 64 minutes before being replaced by Colin Larkin.
Boyd is expected to feature for the first 45 minutes against The Mariners and could yet keep his place for this weekend’s trip to league leaders Brighton.
Larkin, meanwhile, breathed fresh life into Pools following his second-half introduction against The U’s and was pivotal in turning the game in the hosts’ favour.
It was second-string coach Micky Barron who floated the notion of introducing Larkin’s pace, and he was delighted with how that recommendation played out.
“I think Mick (Wadsworth) was kind saying it was all my idea but I was thrilled for Colin because he did brilliantly when he came on and really helped swing the game in our favour,” the former Pools favourite told SportMail.
“Colin gives you real professionalism, whether he’s training or playing with the reserves or first-team always gives 100 per cent.
“He’s a great example of sticking at it, getting your chance and taking it when it comes along.”
He added: “That’s got to be the aim for all the lads when they play for the reserves – give your all and impress.
“I expect tonight’s team to be a mix of younger lads and first-team players but a couple might be rested with one eye on Saturday at Brighton.”
Pools drew 2-2 with Middlesbrough two weeks ago having led their North-East rivals by two goals entering the second-half.
And, despite surrendering that advantage late on, Barron wants to see more of the same from his side.
“We did really well against Boro and that performance was very pleasing,” he said.
Youth-team forward Callum Hassan scored twice during Saturday’s 4-0 victory at Bradford City.
And the powerful young Londoner will be given the chance to catch the eye of senior boss Wadsworth during tonight’s game.
Barron said: “Callum will probably play the second half.
“He’s been doing well recently and we’re trying to integrate him in the reserve and first-team set-up by joining in training with the senior lads.
“He’s been scoring goals regularly for the youth team and this is another chance to impress.”