Scout report: FA Cup history on the line for Kidsgrove Athletic - but what should Pools expect from their lower league opponents?

Hartlepool United will go into Saturday's FA Cup tie against Kidsgrove Athletic as huge favourites - but what do we know about The Grove?

Thursday, 18th October 2018, 7:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th October 2018, 7:28 pm
FA Cup.

The Evo-Stik West Division side will be looking to make history this weekend, when they will be bidding to reach the first round proper for the first time in their history.

Our scout report tells you all you need to know ahead of the game at the Super 6 Stadium.

What level do Kidsgrove play at?

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The Grove are currently competing in the eighth tier of English football.

Despite kicking off the 2016-17 season with high expectations, the club found themselves at the wrong end of the table fighting off relegation.

After beating the drop, The Grove stuck with their manager, the former Burton Albion defender Ryan Austin, before adding highly-rated coach Josh Brehaut and director of football Dave Hamnet to their ranks.

Who are Kidsgrove's star players?

Lee Williamson provides top-flight experience in midfield, after playing in the Premier league for Blackpool.

The 36-year-old is good friends with Austin, who persuaded him to sign for the club.

Portuguese youngster Rumenio, 18, is also one to watch, after scoring an extra-time winner against Workington in the last round.

How did Kidsgrove get to this stage?

Kidsgrove reached the fourth round qualifying stage after victories over Ramsbottom United, Atherton Collieries, Mossley and Workington.

After a goalless draw in the initial tie, Kidsgrove came from a goal down to beat Workington in a replay.

The second game, which was watched by 423 fans, finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, before substitute Rumenio scored the winner in extra-time for the hosts.

Victory means The Grove have now equalled their best-ever run in the FA Cup.

What form are Kidsgrove in?

The Grove sit tenth in the Evo-Stik West Division but have only lost once in eight league games.

Due to FA Cup and FA Trophy commitments, Athletic have games in hand on the sides above them and could quickly climb the table.

Their last game ended in a 2-1 win over Wisbech Town, which saw Kidsgrove reach the first qualifying round of the FA Trophy.

Who is Kidsgrove's manager?

Austin, 33, spent eight years at Burton as a player between 2004 and 2012.

After spells at Kidderminster Harriers and Brackley Town, Austin joined Kidsgrove in 2016 before he was appointed manager.