TEAM NEWS: Hartlepool United v Rochdale in Sky Bet League Two

Simon Walton in action against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID
Simon Walton in action against Burton Albion. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper has made two changes to his side for this afternoon’s Sky Bet League Two match against Rochdale at Victoria Park.

Jordan Richards, back from a double hernia operation, comes in at right-back for Michael Duckworth, who misses out with a groin injury, while Simon Walton comes into central midfield for Matty Dolan, who has returned to parent club Middlesbrough FC after a four-month loan spell.

Ten-goal top scorer Luke James and James Poole again start up front against Rochdale, who beat Pools 3-0 on home soil in the opening fixture of the League Two campaign.

Jack Compton returns from a spell out on the sidelines with a torn calf and is on the bench.

Pools start the match in 15th place, seven points off the play-off spots, while Keith Hill’s Rochdale are sitting pretty in 5th place.

Hartlepool United (4-4-1-1): Flinders, Richards, Baldwin, Burgess, Austin (C), Franks, Walker, Walton, Monkhouse, Poole, James.

Subs: Rafferty, Collins, Compton, Sweeney, Holden, Rodney, Hawkins.

Rochdale (4-4-3): Lillis, Bennett, Cavanagh (C), Lancashire, Vincenti, Hogan, Lund, Done, O’Connell, Rose, Henderson.

Subs: Thomson, Rafferty, Eastham, Donnelly, Allen, Cummins, Bunney.

Referee: Rob Lewis (Shrewsbury).