Hartlepool United see third pre-season friendly called off due to coronavirus concerns but Gateshead match still set to go ahead
Hartlepool United’s hectic pre-season has taken yet another turn as their Consett friendly has been cancelled just hours before kick-off.
It’s the third pre-season cancellation for Pools and second in the space of 24 hours after Middlesbrough Under-23s pulled out of the proposed friendly at Victoria Park after it was confirmed a Pools player had tested positive for coronavirus.
A statement issued by the club read: “The Club is disappointed to announce that tonight’s [Friday, September 25] pre-season friendly against Consett AFC has been cancelled.
“As a result of additional Covid restrictions introduced over the last 24 hours, Durham FA’s regulations now prohibit any team from step 3 and below from being involved in friendly games whatsoever.
“Following further discussions with Durham FA today, we have been advised that these restrictions apply to any match involving Consett AFC. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Last week, Dave Challinor's side had to call off their friendly against Blyth Spartans after someone from Blyth tested positive.
So far, Hartlepool have managed to play four pre-season friendlies and a training match over the past four weeks.
They opened their pre-season with a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United under-23s before a weekend double-header saw them win 5-1 at Morpeth and draw 2-2 at Blyth Spartans.
Last weekend, Luke Williams netted four goals in a 12-0 win against Northern League Division Two side Brandon United. Now they’re set to wrap up their pre-season against Gateshead at the International Stadium on Saturday (1pm kick-off) before their big opener at home to Aldershot Town on October 3 (tbc).