TEAM NEWS: Hartlepool United take on East Thurrock United in FA Cup first round

Michael Duckworth in action. Picture by FRANK REID
Michael Duckworth in action. Picture by FRANK REID

PAUL Murray has made three changes to his Hartlepool United side for today’s first round FA Cup match at home to non-league East Thurrock United.

On-loan duo Charlie Wyke and Scott Harrison have not been allowed to play by their parent clubs Middlesbrough and Sunderland respectively.

As a result Murray has brought in Dan Jones at left-back with Neil Austin partnering Sam Collins in the heart of defence.

Jordan Richards comes in on the right-wing for Pools today.

Dutch winger Sidney Schmeltz also makes his first start for Pools, replacing Michael Woods who is named on the bench.

A place in the second round of the competition and £18,000 in prize money is up for grabs at Victoria Park this afternoon and Sky Bet League Two Pools will be hoping to get the better of seventh tier Rocks, who play in the Ryman Premier League.

Murray has not named a sub keeper on the bench again, with Pools still without a Number 2 to Scott Flinders.

East Thurrock United, managed by John Coventry, name hot-shot striker Sam Higgins in their starting line-up, the striker netted a hat-trick in their last qualifying round.

Pools’ new signing, striker Scott Fenwick who signed yesterday is cup-tied and not eligible to play.

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders (C), Duckworth, Collins, Austin, Jones, Richards, Featherstone, Walker, Franks, Schmeltz, Harewood.

Subs: Holden, Bates, Woods, Hawkins, Smith, Green, Crooks.

East Thurrock United (4-4-2): Hughes, Peddie, Wood, Goodacre, Stephen (C), Witherspoon, Parmenter, Bryant, Smith, Gilbey, Higgins.

Subs: Sammons, Symons, Harris, Anderson, Paxman, Burton.

Refereee: Ben Toner (Lancashire)