Scott Fenwick hopes to repeat scoring against Cheltenham Town on first anniversary

Hartlepool United (2) V Cheltenham Town (0).Hartlepool United (2) V Cheltenham Town (0).
Hartlepool United (2) V Cheltenham Town (0).
Everyone celebrates their first anniversary, don’t they?

And Scott Fenwick hopes to mark his arrival at Hartlepool United by helping Pools through in the FA Cup tomorrow against Cheltenham Town.

Twelve months ago, then Pools boss Paul Murray made an inspired signing, bringing in the non-league hot-shot who had scored goals for fun in the Northern League for Dunston.

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Murray did not get the opportunity to see Fenwick flourish but the Geordie certainly played his part in the Great Escape under Ronnie Moore.

In fact, Fenwick scored the opening goal in Moore’s first win as Pools boss – a 2-0 victory at the Vic in January .... against Cheltenham Town.

The 25-year-old is in line for a return to the starting XI tomorrow against the Robins after impressing last week as a sub at Wimbledon.

“I am pretty sure that was my first start for the new gaffer,” Fenwick told SportMail.

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“It was my first game with Rakish too and he scored as well, on his home debut.

“I scored past Trevor as well, which I reminded him about.

“My goal came from Jack Compton on the left. He beat his man and whipped a great early ball into the six-yard box.

“I was on the front foot and managed to get my studs to the ball and score.

“I’ll take that result tomorrow – any result which gets us through.

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“This is a big game, the first round of the FA Cup, it doesn’t matter what the scoreline is as long as we win.”

While the match brings back happy memories for Fenwick, tomorrow’s first round tie is no gimme. The opposite in fact.

Cheltenham are in great form in the National League. Unbeaten in eight league and cup games, the Robins have lost only twice all season.

“They are flying,” explained the former Newcastle United academy player. “The way they are playing clearly shows that relegation is out of their heads.

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“They have pretty much a new squad and they are playing well.

“But I think in the cup it’s how you perform on the day – I don’t think it really matters what division you are in.

“For us, we need to be professional, prepare well and be on our game.”

But Fenwick believes an FA Cup tie will bring the best out of Pools, especially with the carrot of getting through to the third round when teams from the top two divisions go into the hat.

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“I think there is a bit of an extra buzz with it being the FA Cup,” he said. “We know how important the competition is.

“You saw that whem we got through in the Capital One Cup and we had [Premier League] Bournemouth come to the Vic.

“It would be great if we could get to the third round and get a massive team in the draw.

“That would be ideal for the club and the finance it brings.

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“But, as players, you always want to test yourself against the best, so getting to the third round would be great for us.

“In spells against Bournemouth we did well, even if the final scoreline was 4-0. It’s nice to get the chance to se how far away you are from those players at the top.”

Before any thoughts of meeting a Man City, Arsenal or Chelsea, Pools must first account for Cheltenham.

And, for Fenwick, the prospect of a goal – and win – 12 months to the day after signing is a special prospect.

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“Tomorrow is my one-year anniversary,” he said. “I hope it’s a nice omen.

“To get through in the FA Cup is the aim and if I can get on the pitch and get a goal that would top it off.

“I remember the day I signed like yesterday.

“There were a few other clubs where I had been on trial and there were deals on the table there.

“But Hartlepool came knocking and I got to play a reserve-team game and did well.

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“Hartlepool offered me a contract which was great. Everything felt right – the club is on my doorstep and I didn’t have to move.

“I always believed I could contribute to us staying up.”

He did just that as the team’s leading scorer in League Two. Now, one year on from his arrival, Pools will hope he can make his mark in the FA Cup.

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