Former Middlesbrough midfielder Luke Williams set for full Hartlepool United debut in the FA Trophy at Halifax Town – two and a half years after arriving from Scunthorpe United

Luke Williams is set to make his official full Hartlepool United debut at Halifax Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Friday, 18th December 2020, 10:19 am

It is set to be Williams’ first proper start for Pools since joining permanently from Scunthorpe United in 2018. The midfielder made three substitute appearances last season – including one against Halifax at The Shay.

The 27-year-old also started the abandoned match at Eastleigh in the National League last month but lasted just over 15-minutes before going off injured as the records from that match were expunged due to a waterlogged pitch. But now he looks set to return to the starting 11 in the FA Trophy third round clash this weekend.

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Luke Williams could return at Halifax (photo: HUFC/Alex Chandy)

"The plan is for Luke to start the game, he’s trained all week with no adverse reactions,” manager Dave Challinor revealed.

“Hopefully nothing happens in the next 24-hours and we can start him in the game and see where we go.

"I’m not too sure what to expect from him, it’s baby steps, if we get 45-minutes great, if we get 60-minutes brilliant. For us, that would be a massive positive if he can start a game of football and get through with no ill-effects until half-time then that’s a big step forward.

"It’s better than him not starting the game and bringing him on and if something goes wrong then you’ve already used two substitutions.

"Fingers crossed everything goes well and we can push him closer to being a regular and where he’s desperate to get to.”

Elsewhere in the squad, Gary Liddle (groin) remains out while Luke Molyneux is likely to be rested once again.

“Mols is still feeling it, he’s trained and been involved in some sessions then missed others,” Challinor added.

“We’re varied at the minute with the surfaces we’re using with grass and 3G which isn’t ideal going from a hard surface to a soft surface back and forth which hasn’t helped.

"It’s by no means a serious problem, he could get through the game potentially but we won’t take any risks. We’re in a competition where we can pick seven subs this weekend and we won’t risk anyone who we have any doubts over because we’ve got a quick turnaround for Stockport on Tuesday.”

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