Dover Athletic v Hartlepool United preview: Dave Challinor eyeing back-to-back wins and take advantage of being the only National League match

Hartlepool United travel to the Crabble Athletic Ground to play Dover Athletic in the Vanarama National League this afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 7:00 am
Aaron Cunningham of Hartlepool United is tackled byJosh Passley of Dover Athletic during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Dover Athletic at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 21st September 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

The Pools are coming off the back of a 2-1 win at home against Eastleigh on Tuesday night.

Dover will be looking to respond after a heavy 3-0 defeat away to title challengers Bromley on New Year’s Day.

The Whites won the game at Victoria Park 2-0 back in September in hostile conditions with Pools players Ryan Donaldson and Nicky Featherstone being sent off for dissent and at least one home fan being ejected for alleged racist abuse.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The two teams are level in the National League table with 39 points, however, Dover have two games in hand.

A win for both teams would move them to three points off seventh and the play off places.

Hartlepool have a poor record against Dover with only one win in five matches played against them, losing the other four.

Dover have a dismal home record in the league this season with only three wins in 14 games, and a goal difference of negative three.

Inih Effiong is The Whites main dangerman with the centre-forward getting 11 goals so far this season.

Challinor will be without his top scorer Gime Toure after the striker was suspended for three matches for violent conduct in the FA Cup third round loss against Oxford United.

The Pools also have six players out injured with Fraser Kerr (back), Michael Raynes (quad), Josh Hawkes (abdomen), Luke Williams (hamstring), Adam Bale (knee) and Luke James (groin) all on the treatment table. Kenton Richardson is also being monitored after missing Tuesday night’s match due to an ankle injury.

Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor strengthened his attacking options today signing Republic of Ireland Under-21 striker Aidan Keena from Hearts.

Hartlepool have never won consecutive matches with Dave Challinor as manager which is a stat he is hoping his side can address, saying: “It’s about putting a run together and backing up the win on Tuesday.

“Hopefully we can do that, we’ve been pretty consistent in terms of our performances and our levels but we’ve been inconsistent when it comes to results.”