Matthew Bates facing defensive headache after Pools centre-half ruled OUT of Bromley clash

Hartlepool United's Scott Harrison.
Hartlepool United's Scott Harrison.

Hartlepool United defender Scott Harrison looks certain to miss tonight’s clash against Bromley.

But Lewis Hawkins has not been ruled out, and could yet line up against the FA Trophy finalists.

Pools take on the Ravens at Victoria Park this evening, looking to build on their victory at Barrow last week.

Matthew Bates’ men face a Bromley side riding the crest of a wave, after tonight’s visitors beat Gateshead to book a place to Wembley in May.

And it looks like Pools will have to do without the services of Harrison.

The central defender injured his hamstring in the closing stages of the Holker Street victory and is almost certain to sit it out tonight.

That leaves Bates with a real defensive headache with Liam Donnelly away on international duty and no senior defenders available beyond those in the starting XI.

It may be the case that Jacob Owen is handed his first start at first-team level. Of course, skipper Carl Magnay could also slot into the heart of defence.

Elsewhere, Hawkins’ fitness will be assessed by Bates in the run up to the encounter and he may yet face a fitness test to determine whether he can make the matchday 16.

Aaron Cunningham played an hour for the reserves last week, but is some way off availability, while Luke George (hamstring), Ryan Donaldson (ankle) and Kenton Richardson (collarbone) remain out.