FA Cup: Salford City v Hartlepool United, all Pools are missing are goals

Rakish Bingham
Rakish Bingham

Hartlepool United are playing good football – all they are missing is a goal scorer.

That is the admission of manager Ronnie Moore as Pools visit giant-killers Salford City this evening in the FA Cup.

The only thing that’s missing at the moment is someone to put the ball in the net.


Pools produced their best play of the season last Saturday against Oxford United – only to lose 1-0 to the League Two leaders.

“I think we played well last Saturday and if we play like that, we should have too much for Salford,” said Moore.

“We tried to play out from the back and going through the thirds.

“The only thing that’s missing at the moment is someone to put the ball in the net.

“We are not the only team saying that, there are upteen sides in the same boat, but essentially that’s where we are.”

Moore must make at least one change – loan signing Kal Naismith is cup-tiedhaving played for Portsmouth in the previous round.

Rakish Bingham will be a candidate to come into the starting XI – his speed could prove crucial against a Salford backline which, while physically-stromg lacks pace.

Kudus Oyenuga, who was left out against Oxford after three starts in a row, is another who could take a wide role, but Scott Fenwick will also be in contention.

The Geordie is the highest scorer available to Moore with seven-goal Billy Paynter out with an Achilles problem.

Should Moore go with Fenwick up front alongside Mikael Mandron, it may force a return to a 4-4-2 formation though the manager may be reluctant to deviate from a 4-3-3/4-5-1 system which worked so well last week.

Skipper Carl Magnay, who came off against the U’s, will be fit to start but fellow midfielder Michael Woods is still struggling with a dead leg.
Pools (probable): Carson, Duckworth, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Featherstone, Gray, Magnay, Bingham, Mandron, Oates. Subs: Bartlett, Jones, Harrison, Walker, Oyenuga, Fenwick, Smith