South Shields-Hartlepool United: Pools players get chance to impress boss

Hartlepool United's young players tonight get another chance to impress the new gaffer.

Tuesday, 31st January 2017, 8:30 am
Nicky Deverdics in action for Hartlepool United Reserves against v Rotherham last week at Maiden Castle. PIcture by KEVIN BRADY

Pools Reserves head to high-flying South Shields, in the quarter-final of the Durham Challenge Cup (kick-off 7.30pm).

Ian McGuckin will take charge of the team at Mariners Park, where they will have their work cut out against North-East football’s success story.

Big-spending Shields, who feature former Sunderland and Middlesbrough star Julio Arca in their ranks, have just reached the last eight of the FA Vase and look destined for Wembley.

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They also feature Poolie old boys David Foley and Darren Holden.

For the Pools side, it is an opportunity to create a bit of an upset AND for the players to show their capabilities to Dave Jones.

Last week, the newly-appointed boss was so impressed with what he saw from attacker Connor Smith in the 1-0 Reserve-team victory over Rotherham that he promoted him into the League Two squad.

The 22-year-old was brought on as a second-half sub at Newport and proved one of the few bright spots for Pools in a miserable 3-1 defeat.

Given Smith enjoyed a significant chunk of the game, he may not play against the Ebac Northern League title contenders.

But Nicky Deverdics, who skippered the second string against the Millers last Tuesday, could again feature along with defender Jordan Richards.

Devante Rodney, who scored the winner in the Central League Cup tie, looks set to start tonight, with Jake Orrell providing further attacking threat.