Hartlepool United boss Craig Harrison’s selection headache for Ebbsfleet

Craig Harrison.
Craig Harrison.

Craig Harrison could have some selection headache should Jonathan Franks pass a fitness test for Hartlepool United’s crunch National League trip to Ebbsfleet.

Franks missed Tuesday night’s 4-0 win over Halifax Town with a minor hamstring problem, but might return for tomorrow’s match in South East London (kick-off 3pm).

When the leading scorer was ruled out against the Shaymen, it looked a devastating blow, especially given Pools had not scored in three games.

But any fears were dispelled when Pools took the Yorkshire side to the cleaners, with the 27-year-old’s replacement, Rhys Oates, scoring a superb goal and being involved in two other goals.

Jake Cassidy led the line well and Devante Rodney caused problems to the away defence with his pace and power.

Sub Tomi Adeloye impressed for the last half-hour in place of Rodney and only a great save by Sam Johnson at the death stopped him from getting a goal on his Victoria Park debut.

Harrison, therefore, has a tough choice as he plots his team en-route to Kent today, his choice will be even harder if Franks is fit.

Cassidy will be hoping to make it third time lucky by scoring against the Reds after making two starts since recovering from a stress fracture of his foot.

His physical presence up top is welcomed by Harrison, though he pointed out, correctly, that Pools managed without him during his 13-match absence.

“I’m not saying we’ve missed him because the results when he was out were very good,” said the manager.

“But having him back up front gives us two ways of playing – it gives us more options.

“It’s almost a thankless job up there and he was disappointed not to score [against Halifax], but he gives us the platform for others to come into the game.

“The balance attacking-wise was good on Tuesday.

“I thought Rhys was outstanding and Devante did well, they bring pace and power, and with Woodsy and Conor supporting them, our balance was good.”