Hartlepool United to host Sunderland in EFL trophy

Action replay:  George Honeyman is denied by Adam Bartlett and Scott Harrison at Victoria Park in a pre-season friendly

Action replay: George Honeyman is denied by Adam Bartlett and Scott Harrison at Victoria Park in a pre-season friendly

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Hartlepool United will play Sunderland at Victoria Park in the EFL Trophy.

Pools will play host to the Black Cats U23 side on Tuesday, October 4.

A new look, as well as a new name, is in place this season for the old Johnstone’s Paints Trophy, the best route to Wembley for League One and Two clubs.

The 64 competing teams include not only the 48 clubs in the lower divisions but 16 invited sides from Premier League academies.

Sunderland are in the four-team group Pools have been placed in, which also includes League Two rival Notts County and League One outfit Rochdale.

Pools start with their sole away game, at Notts County on August 30, and they will finish the group at home to Rochdale on November 8.

Craig Hignett’s side have faced the Black Cats in pre-season, Sam Alllardyce’s last game as Sunderland boss ending in a 3-0 Jermain Defoe-inspired victory, not that the new England manager saw it all – he sneaked out in the second half.

An almost-full strength red and whites were three up by the break with the second half, which featured a predominately Academy XI, being goalless.

The top two sides qualify for the knock-out stages.

Three points are awarded for a win and one point for a draw in the group stages.

In the event of a draw at 90 minutes, a penalty shoot-out will be staged with the winning team earning an additional point.