Debut watch: How did Hartlepool United’s new boys perform at Maidstone?

Hartlepool defender Peter Kioso clears with his head during the Vanarama National League match between Maidstone United  and Hartlepool United at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone. Credit: Jon Bromley/Shutter Press.
Hartlepool defender Peter Kioso clears with his head during the Vanarama National League match between Maidstone United and Hartlepool United at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone. Credit: Jon Bromley/Shutter Press.

It was out with the old and in with the new for Hartlepool United on Saturday, as Matthew Bates handed debuts to SIX of his summer signings.

But how did the new boys get on?

Our man Liam Kennedy was down in Kent this weekend to witness Pools’ 1-1 opening day draw.

And here’s his take on their performances in the sweltering heat at the Gallagher Stadium.

l Andrew Davies

A leader at the back and a threat in the opposition box.

We were told by Bates that there would not be a better defender at this level this summer.

Now, I’ve not seen the current crop just yet, but judging by what was on show last season, Bates is right on the money.

l Peter Kioso

This boy is an athlete.

Despite still being a teenager, he looks developed well beyond that both physically and in terms of the maturity of his play.

He is a player who could turn out to be one of the better additions of a very busy summer, simply because of the fact he can play so many positions.

We all found out last year that injuries and suspensions are massive at this level. One too many can define a season.

Kioso’s versatility should help with that somewhat.

l Mark Kitching

Barely put a foot all wrong all game and as far as debut showings go this was as steady as they come.

In the second half, was given little chance to bomb on past the front three like he did on so many occasions in the first.

Looks a very good additions to the squad. Adds real balance to the system, as well as some much-needed height.

l Liam Noble

If this is just for starters then Poolies will find it hard to wait for the main and dessert.

The Geordie put in a man of the match showing from the centre of the park, winning challenges and dictating the tempo of the game, particularly in a dominant first 45 for Pools.

Character is something Pools have lacked in recent years and if dispatches from the dressing-room are to be believed, he’s brought that in abundance.

l Niko Muir

This was a performance which will most likely be remembered for one flashpoint in the game - the Maidstone penalty decision that led to the goal.

But to do that would do the player a real disservice.

From minute one, playing in a slightly deeper role, Muir was full of graft. He wanted the ball, which was a big plus, and helped provide the link between Jake Cassidy and the midfield.

Went close with one cracking effort from the edge of the area.

l Marcus Dinanga

It was a late cameo for the youngster in Kent and he showed glimpses of why Bates and Craig Hignett were so keen to bring him to the club.

A couple of clever runs and some good movement. Certainly a one to watch.

Had little chance to get a sight of goal, was used more to give Pools an option on the break as they soaked up the pressure.