Team news: Jack Compton and Matthew Bates in from the start for Hartlepool v Exeter

Aaron Tshibola in action for Hartlepool United against Luton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

Aaron Tshibola in action for Hartlepool United against Luton Town. Picture by FRANK REID

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JACK Compton and Matthew Bates return to the Hartlepool United line-up for today’s crunch clash with Exeter City.

A win for Pools, coupled with a defeat for Cheltenham Town and a draw or defeat for Tranmere Rovers would see the club secure their Football League status for another year.

It would be a remarkable turnaround given Pools were 10 points adrift less than two months ago.

On-loan Scunthorpe United defender David Mirfin misses out with a badly bruised toe injury, which sees Bates return to the heart of defence with Pools set to line up in a 4-4-2 system.

Compton, out of the first team picture for the past nine games, returns on the left wing for the game at Victoria Park.

Scott Fenwick starts up front alongside Preston North End loanee Jordan Hugill.

Meanwhile, Tommy Miller is back among the subs after more than six months out of the first team picture.

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Austin, Harrison, Bates, D Jones, Franks, Featherstone, Tshibola, Compton, Hugill, Fenwick.

Subs: Maxted, Duckworth, Walker, Miller, Nelson-Addy, J Jones, Harewood.

Exeter: Hamon; Davies, Bennett, Moore-Taylor, McAllister; Sercombe, Oakley, Harley, Keohane; Nicholls, Cummins.

Subs: Pym, Butterfield, Nichols, Wheeler, Tillson, Jay, Morrison.

Referee: Carl Boyeson (East Yorkshire)