Hartlepool’s striker’s have goals in them to beat the drop

Marlon Harewood celebrates his goal for Hartlepool against Accrington Stanley. Picture by FRANK REID
Marlon Harewood celebrates his goal for Hartlepool against Accrington Stanley. Picture by FRANK REID

RONNIE Moore is happy with his striking options as Hartlepool United look to start their critical end-of-season run by upsetting the odds at Luton Town.

If Pools are to stay up they need goals along the way and Moore knows he has four hungry for the net.

On-loan Jordan Hugill and Jonathan Franks have been his preferred option, impressing as a partnership.

But Moore has Scott Fenwick banging on his door for selection after returning to fitness, the Paul Murray signing from the Northern League going agonisingly close to a dramatic winner against Accrington Stanley.

Throw in a rejuvenated Marlon Harewood, inspired against Southend United on Easter Monday and a match-saver against Stanley in mid-week.

But for the seasoned campaigner’s late header, Pools would have ended up back in the bottom two.

“Scott Fenwick is fit and ready to start, he’s not a million miles away at all,” said Moore.

“Maz has scored and we have Jordan up there too playing well.

“Franksy has done a good job and we are looking good up front.

“It was good for Maz on Tuesday night, he’s needed a goal, there’s no doubt about that.

“Scotty could have scored too, he had a great chance to win the game for us.

“We’ve got the strikers there, it’s just what formation we fit them into.”

The formation is almost certain to be a 3-5-2, a set-up which has served Pools well since Moore opted to move away from 4-4-2.

“The players here can play in different systems,” he explained.

“All of a sudden people say 3-5-2 is very defensive, but we won four games in a row playing that way.

“I understand where they are coming from as the wing-backs have been tucking in too tight.

“But we can alter the system, we have the players to do it.”

Whatever system Moore employs against the Hatters, tomorrow’s match will be a daunting one.

While Pools, on current form, are performing better than Luton, John Still’s side are just three points off the top seven.

They have ended a wretched run of eight straight defeats with a win and draw in the last three matches and Moore rates them highly.

“Luton have good players and a good manager,” he said.

“It happens [ar bad run] - I’ve said before, it’s as easy to lose five games as win them.

“They lost quite a lot, I think it’s eight on the trot, which has been hard for them.

“But it shows how what a fantastic first half of the season they’ve had to still be involved [in the promotion race].

“They are not going to be too far away that’s for sure.”

Tomorrow’s match brings together two of football’s likeable characters and old stagers, Moore, 62 and Still, two years his senior.

And Moore can’t wait to cross swords with the veteran cockney.

“I’ve known Stilly for a long, long time,” smiled Moore. “I wish Stilly all the best, but only after tomorrow.

“I think the last time we met, he beat us in the play-off final when he was at Dagenham & Redbridge.

“I owe him one, big time. That’s for sure.”

Luton (probable): Justham, Harriman, Wilkinson, McNulty, Griffiths, McGeehan, Smith, Whalley, Hall, Lee, Cullen

Pools (probable): Flinders, Mirfin, Harrison, D Jones, Austin, Tshibola, Featherstone, Walker, Duckworth, Franks, Hugill. Subs: Maxted, Richards, Nelson-Addy, Hawkins, Fenwick, Harewood, J Jones