Hartlepool Utd seek first home win against unbeaten Shrewsbury Town

Stuart Parnaby in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID
Stuart Parnaby in action against Dagenham and Redbridge. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United will face another unbeaten side when Shrewsbury Town visit Victoria Park on Saturday.

Fourth-placed Shrews, relegated from League One last season, have won three and drawn two of their opening five matches in Sky Bet League Two.

Pools boss Colin Cooper is expecting another tough afternoon for his side, currently 16 places further down League Two after just the solitary win so far this season.

But he is calling on his players to get the first home win of the season to calm the nerves of restless supporters.

So far on home soil, Pools have lost out to Bury and Dagenham & Redbridge - losing both matches 2-0.

Meanwhile, Shrewsbury have adapted well to life in League Two and Micky Mellon’s side have also beaten Premier League Leicester City and Championship side Blackpool in the League Cup.

Last weekend they beat Luton Town 2-0 thanks to a brace from Jordan Clark but suffered their first defeat of the season in midweek, losing 1-0 away to Preston North End in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Mellon made four changes to his side for the cup match.

But Connor Goldson, James Wesolowski, James Collins and Scott Vernon could all be re-called for the trip to The Vic.

Liam Lawrence will also return to the Shrews squad after serving a three-match ban. Dave McAllister is edging closer to fitness after a back operation.

Looking ahead to the match, Cooper said: “We have a very important game on Saturday against a good team.

“Micky [Mellon] is disappointed that they lost at Preston in the JPT the other night.

“He managed to change the team around a wee bit and I know they have one or two injuries but he wasn’t very happy they had to travel up to Preston to play and then up here Saturday against us.

“But we have done our fair share of miles ourselves and know how it works.

“All we can do is try and put a team out on Saturday that can compete and can get our first home win of the season - that is our goal as a group.

“It is as simple as that,

“After having a good result at Wimbledon we then lost last minute at Cheltenham, which was a kick where it hurts for the lads.

“The only thing they can do is go at Shrewsbury on Saturday and try and get our season going.

“We have back-to-back home games and lets make sure we maximise as much as we can.

“Shrewsbury have had a great start to the season, Micky went in there and turned the club around very quickly.

“He has quite a few players to pick from but whether he goes back to his league team - that got a good home win against Luton last week - we’ll wait and see.

“They are very organised, very strong and have some good footballers.

“They have a nice mix so we have to be able to combat what they have got and be creative and get a couple of goals and a win at home.”

Cooper is expected to be without midfielder Lewis Hawkins, who is still suffering from an ankle injury but summer signing Stuart Parnaby is set to be back in contention.

Parnaby has missed the last two matches with a hamstring problem.

Pools: Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Bates, Austin, Brobbel, Miller, Walker, Franks, Harewood, Wyke.

Subs (from): Dixon, Richards, Holden, Harrison, Woods, Parnaby, Compton, Green, Smith.

Shrews (likely): Leutwiler, Goldson, Ellis, Knight-Percival, Wesolowski, Gayle, Lawrence, Clark, Demetriou, Collins, Akpa Akpro