Hartlepool United confirm first match at Victoria Park in six months as they host Blyth Spartans behind closed doors with no live stream in place – plus Middlesbrough friendly arranged

Hartlepool United have announced their first match at Victoria Park in six months will take place against Blyth Spartans this weekend – but few will get to watch it.
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As revealed in The Mail following last weekend's 2-2 draw at Blyth, a rematch has been arranged between the sides to take place at Victoria Park on Saturday, September 19 (1pm kick-off).

As expected, the match will take place behind closed doors but unlike last Saturday’s match at Croft Park, no live stream option is currently in place with only club players, staff and officials granted access to the match.

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On Friday, September 25, Pools are also set to host a Middlesbrough XI at Victoria Park before facing Gateshead the following day at the International Stadium.

The Gateshead match will be available to watch via a pay per view live stream but no announcement has been made regarding the Boro friendly.

Pools’ previous home match at Victoria Park was a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Ebbsfleet United back in March. Six footballess months later and fans will have to wait a little bit longer before seeing Dave Challinor's side back in action at The Vic.

“We want to try and do something at the Vic in terms of a trial run which wasn’t initially planned but with all the protocols in terms of the Covid stuff, we want a practice run before the opening day against Aldershot Town [on October 3],” Challinor told The Mail.

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"We’ll play Blyth on Saturday and then we’ll have the Middlesbrough game on the 25th which will both be really important as we look at how things will work so it's important we play some home games before the start of the season.”

Victoria Park, Hartlepool.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)Victoria Park, Hartlepool.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
Victoria Park, Hartlepool. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Blyth offered to live stream the match again as they did last week but this was turned down by Pools. Instead, audio commentary will be available for Saturday’s match.

As a result, Pools fans have took to Twitter to voice their frustration with the club's decision:

Monkey Man said: “Can someone explain the rationale behind this? A PR own goal.”

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Chris W commented: “Surely you can have someone live stream the game? Crazy. Nothing stopping pools in a couple days getting someone in to do it I feel.”

@k7vin11 added: "Just need to ask Gateshead and Blyth how they've done it surely?”

@Phillychalk2020 posted: "Shame that it couldn't of been streamed the same as last weekend would of been a bit of money for the club.”

@Douggy1908 didn’t hold back as he tweeted: “Obviously no one wants to take time out on a Saturday to work for free to stream it, shell of a club."

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Monkey Man continued: “Earlier this week I watched Shildon’s game. Live via YouTube. If they can do then surely...”

And Mike Driver agreed: “Exactly. A whole range of options to start to bringing fans back into the loop when they've had next to nothing for months.”

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