HARTLEPOOL United have been drawn away to npower Championship promotion favourites Nottingham Forest in the Capital One Cup.
Pools will take on new boss Colin Cooper’s former club in the week commencing August 5, with the likely staging date Tuesday August 6.
It is a huge early test for Cooper, who will take charge of his first npower League Two game on Saturday, August 3.
Not only is it a sentimental return to a club he served with distinction (Cooper played 180 times for Forest) it is a massive footballing test against a team who just missed out on the Championship play-offs.
Pools would have been praying for a home draw where they may have had a chance of landing a tie with the opportunity of an upset or of television coverage.
The side have exited at the first stage of the competitions over the last two years.
Last year’s Capital One defeat came on the opening day of the campaign, a 5-0 mauling at Crewe Alexandra setting the tone for what proved a poor season.
Middlesbrough’s run of away draws in the competition is over – they have a home tie with League Two’s Accrington Stanley.
CAPITAL ONE CUP DRAW
Bury v Crewe Alexandra
Shrewsbury Town v Bolton Wanderers
Middlesbrough v Accrington Stanley
Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale
Preston North End v Blackpool
Barnsley v Scunthorpe United
Tranmere Rovers v Mansfield Town
York City v Burnley
Notts County v Fleetwood Town
Sheffield United v Burton Albion
Oldham Athletic v Derby County
Carlisle United v Blackburn Rovers
Morecambe v Wolverhampton Wanderers
Nottingham Forest v Hartlepool United
Leeds United v Chesterfield
Huddersfield Town v Bradford City
Rotherham United v Sheffield Wednesday
Port Vale v Walsall
Gillingham v Bristol City
AFC Bournemouth v Portsmouth
Wycombe Wanderers v Leicester City
Brentford v Dagenham and Redbridge
Exeter City v Queens Park Rangers
Charlton Athletic v Oxford United
Southend United v Yeovil Town
Millwall v AFC Wimbledon
Swindon Town v Torquay United
Birmingham City v Plymouth Argyle
Stevenage v Ipswich Town
Cheltenham Town v Crawley Town
Bristol Rovers v Watford
Northampton Town v Milton Keynes Dons
Leyton Orient v Coventry City
Colchester United v Peterborough United
Brighton and Hove Albion v Newport County
Ties to be played during the week commencing August 5, 2013.