Hartlepool United looking to ‘spoil the party’ at Sutton with fans set to return for potential National League title decider
Hartlepool United travel to Sutton United this Sunday (12:45pm kick-off) for a match where the National League title could be on the line.
Pools currently sit fourth and can only finish as high as second this season but leaders Sutton go into the game knowing that a result could potentially see them secure the league title and earn promotion to the Football League for the first time.
In order to do that, the U’s would have to better Torquay United’s result against bottom of the table Barnet on Saturday.
The match at Gander Green Lane will also mark the timely return of supporters with 1,050 home fans permitted to attend the match.
Poolies will have to settle for watching the game live on BT Sport 1 on Sunday afternoon.
Still, Hartlepool boss Dave Challinor is looking forward to ‘a great occasion’ in South London.
“This weekend will be a great occasion with a team in pole position looking to win the league and we’re almost going there with our own aspirations and trying to spoil the party as such,” he said.
“We’ve got our own objectives and we’re looking to go there and win. I’m sure it’ll be a really good game between two good teams.”
Sutton have lost just once at Gander Green Lane in 2021 and have recently overtaken Pools to boast the best home record in the division.
The previous meeting between the sides saw Pools claim a narrow 1-0 win at Victoria Park back in January thanks to a Rhys Oates header. It was Hartlepool’s first and only victory against the U’s in seven attempts. Each of their previous three matches away at Sutton have ended level.
“Although we would have liked it to be important for us in terms of a title decider, the importance for us still remains and the importance for Sutton is still what they want it to be.
"The difference for us is that it can potentially reduce the number of play-off games we have to play. We still know that going there and winning is a must.
"It will be the same for Sutton. In their instance, the title is depending on it and they’ve got themselves in the key position if you like.”