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

Tommy Miller in action against Bradford Park Avenue. Picture by FRANK REID
Tommy Miller in action against Bradford Park Avenue. Picture by FRANK REID

HARTLEPOOL United manager Colin Cooper has handed debuts to Matthew Bates, Stuart Parnaby and Tommy Miller for today’s Sky Bet League Two match at Stevenage.

Luke James, who is at the centre of intense transfer speculation, starts up front alongside Marlon Harewood at The Lamex Stadium (KO 3pm).

In defence, Sam Collins partners Bates in the centre with Neil Austin being asked to slot in at left-back and Michael Duckworth in the right-back berth.

Ex-Boro utility man Parnaby starts in midfield alongside Miller, with Brad Walker and Jack Compton also in midfield.

New arrivals Joel Dixon, a goalkeeper signed on an emergency loan from Sunderland, midfielder Michael Woods and Ryan Brobbel, a winger signed on a months loan from Boro, are all among the subs for the opening day of the League Two season.

Ex-Pools midfielder Simon Walton signed for Stevenage in the summer but is suspended for today’s match. The home side have only named five substitutes on their bench.

Pools (4-4-2): Flinders, Duckworth, Collins, Bates (C), Austin, Walker, Parnaby, Miller, Compton, Harewood, James.

Subs: Dixon, Richards, Holden, Woods, Hawkins, Brobbel, Franks.

Stevenage (4-4-2): Beasant, Dembele, Worley, Wells (C), Ashton, Whelpdale, Lee, Bond, Pett, Marriott, Charles.

Subs: Day, Calcutt, Okimo, Johnson, Deacon.

Referee: Mark Haywood