Scout report: Hartlepool set to face pace, power and a reality TV star when Boreham Wood visit

Luke Garrard is the man in charge of Boreham Wood
Luke Garrard is the man in charge of Boreham Wood

Hartlepool United welcome Boreham Wood to the Super 6 Stadium this weekend - but what should they expect from their opponents?

Pools will be keen to pick up another victory on home soil after dropping points in recent games, but will find Boreham Wood a tough proposition.

Last season's play-off finalists have an established manager, pace and power - plus a reality TV star - in their corner.

But what else can Pools expect? Our scout report takes a comprehensive look at the Wood:

What system will Boreham Wood play?

Similar to Pools, Boreham Wood tend to operate in a 3-5-2 system - providing some defensive stability and plenty of width.

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Leading the line are two quick and tricky strikers who will no doubt pose questions of Pools’ backline.

In the middle, Football League experience coupled with plenty of athleticism makes the three-man midfield one of the best in the league - and their battle with Hartlepool’s own engine room trio could prove an intriguing one.

At the back, a mix of youth and experience provides a fairly strong backline - although shipping four last weekend suggests the Wood are vulnerable defensively.

Who are Boreham Wood’s key players?

The Wood’s front two are definitely worth watching and, with pace and power in abundance, they have certainly made their mark on National League defences this season.

Josh Umerah has netted five times since arriving on loan from Charlton Athletic, while strike partner Gozie Ugwu boasts experience at Reading, Plymouth and Wycombe among others.

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Young stopper Ryan Huddart has impressed since joining from Arsenal while, in front of him, Mark Ricketts and Danny Woodards provide plenty of experience.

Watch out for Connor Smith too - the cultured midfielder has impressed in the Football League and was previously a runner-up on Sky TV reality show Football’s Next Star.

Do Boreham Wood have any injury worries?

Four players missed the Wood’s last outing, but there is hope that all of them may return.

Centre back Woodards and Ricketts missed the defeat to Harrogate but could return this weekend.

Meanwhile Angelo Balanta and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild failed late fitness tests last weekend but are thought to have returned to training this week.

Who is Boreham Wood’s manager and what can we expect from them?

Luke Garrard is the man in charge at Boreham Wood, and has been since 2015.

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The 33-year-old is a real fans’ favourite and, having played for the club prior to stepping into the dugout, has a real affinity with the club and its supporter base.

He guided the Wood to the play-off final last year before the side were narrowly beaten by Tranmere, and has developed an attractive style of football that has seen the side growth exponentially.

What form have Boreham Wood been in?

After coming agonisingly close to achieving promotion to the Football League last season, this campaign has been a far tricker one for Garrard’s side.

They currently sit 12th in the National League - four places and five points behind Pools - having endured a wretched run of form of late.

They have won just one of their last six games in all competitions, with their last three outings ending in defeats.

Last six: LLLWDD