Two games to go in Hartlepool United’s great escape – but possibilities are a head scratcher

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore during their 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon.  Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool United manager Ronnie Moore during their 1-0 victory against AFC Wimbledon. Picture by FRANK REID

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POOLS can take a big step towards completing the greatest of escapes this Saturday.

But with just two games in League Two left to play and six points up for grabs the number of possible outcomes are enough to leave you scratching your head.

There is currently only two points separating Hartlepool United with 41 from bottom place Tranmere on 39 and Cheltenham on 40.

But Hartlepool can guarantee their Football League status if they were to win at home against Exeter City on Saturday and both Cheltenham and Tranmere, who currently occupy the two relegation places, lose their matches.

That would leave Pools with 44 points and no way they could be overtaken by the teams below them with just one match left giving them a maximum points of 43 and 42.

But if Pools claim three points and both Cheltenham and Tranmere draw, Pools would still be at risk of relegation going into the final game against Carlisle.

That is because if Cheltenham went on to win their final game potentially ending with the same points as Pools on 44, their superior goal difference to Hartlepool would see Pools finish second bottom and be relegated.

The good news is Pools do not need to win any of their last two games to stay up – just so long as neither do Tranmere of Cheltenham.

The same can be said if all three teams were to draw the remaining games as the league table would look just like it is now.

The worst case scenario would be if Pools were to lose on Saturday and Cheltenham and Tranmere both won giving them 43 and 42 points respectively with Pools still on 41.

Nothing less than a win would then do to give Pools the best chance of staying up on May 2.

But that would depend on Tranmere and Cheltenham not picking up points in their last games.

About the only thing that is certain is that many of the Pools faithful will be glued to their mobile phones watching the results unfold on the next two Saturday afternoons.

Come on Pools!