Scott Harrison on stand-by for Hartlepool return

Scott Harrison
Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison could be set for a return to the Hartlepool United starting XI – at right-back.

The central defender is on stand-by to replace Michael Duckworth at Mansfield Town tomorrow, if the unlucky Yorkshireman is ruled out.

We won’t be far off the same squad and subs we had last weekend


Duckworth was stretchered off 12 minutes from time in Sunday’s 3-1 win over Leyton Orient at Victoria Park.

It appeared a serious injury, initially, though boss Ronnie Moore said that it seemed to be a severe case of cramp in his calf.

The 23-year-old though is a doubt for the visit to Field Mill, where he scored a vital equaliser last season as Moore’s side drew 1-1.

The Pools manager will have no hesitation in picking Harrison at right-back tomorrow.

Harrison played there in the closing stages of the win over the O’s and did not look out of place.

Carl Magnay could play there but given the stand-in skipper’s influence in midfield, Moore will not want to make any re-shuffles.

Harrison, one of the leading performers this season, lost his centre-half spot after being sent off in the home defeat by Crawley.

Loan signing Adam Jackson and the revitalised Matthew Bates have formed a very effective pairing at the heart of the defence over the last two weekends and will be together again tomorrow.

The inclusion of the ex-Sunderland defender would be the only change from the side which fought back superbly to beat the Londoners.

But Moore will give head physio Ian Gallagher every chance to get Duckworth fit for the match at Field Mill, where the side will be looking for a third straight win for the first time since August.

The only definite absentee will be skipper Billy Paynter, who is struggling with an Achilles problem, which looks likely to rule him out for several weeks.

Moore though moved quickly to replace him by bringing in Mikael Mandron on loan from Sunderland.

“Billy will be a miss,” said Moore. “He is a miss because he’s a leader and he has seven goals, a big chunk of our goals.

“On Sunday we coped without him, but the sooner he is back the better.

“With two wingers putting balls into the box then all of a sudden we have the excitement of wingers doing the right job.

“Billy will be a big gutted he’s not going to be able to get on the end of crosses for a few weeks.

“Everyone else will be fine – we won’t be far off the same squad and subs we had last weekend.

“And let’s hope at the end of the week we are closer to the top seven than the bottom two.”

Pools (probable): Carson, Harrison, Jackson, Bates, Carroll, Oyenuga, Gray, Magnay (capt), Naismith, Fenwick, Mandron.

Subs: Bartlett, Jones, Featherstone, Woods, Oates, Bingham, Smith.