Young striker will start for Hartlepool against Bournemouth

Rhys Oates
Rhys Oates

Rhys Oates will be given his chance to show Ronnie Moore what he can do in tomorrow night’s clash with Bournemouth.

The Hartlepool United boss confirmed the young striker will make his first competitive start in the mouth-watering Capital One Cup tie at Victoria Park.

I’d like to look at Rhys from the start, see what he’s like.

Oates has come off the bench in all five of Pools games this season, going close to opening his account in Saturday’s first defeat, at Stevenage.

Moore has started with the same frontline of Billy Paynter, Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick each time.

But that will alter tomorrow night against the exciting Premier League new boys, who won 4-3 at West Ham on Saturday.

“I might just have a look at one or two things in the cup,” said Moore.

“I’d like to look at Rhys from the start, see what he’s like.

“He’s been coming on around the hour mark but he’ll play against Bournemouth.”

Oates has looked lively coming on for Fenwick in the last three matches and but for a heavy first touch, would surely have scored at Broadhall Way on Saturday.

“Rhys has had a great chance and if his touch was right it’s in,” said Moore.

Oates will not be the only Yorkshireman making his first competitive start for Pools.

Loan signing Andrew Boyce will be at the heart of the defence tomorrow night after the centre-half injury curse struck again.

Moore signed the 25-year-old from Scunthorpe United to give Pools cover in case anything happened to one of his defenders.

It was a good piece of business - again - from the manager after Boyce was needed just 18 minutes into Saturday’s League two match at Stevenage.

Matthew Bates limped off with an Achilles problem, giving the Doncaster-born player an instant debut.

Boyce made a good start, particularly when you consider he’s played no football this season and has only had two training sessions with his new colleagues.

He looked adept in the air and made a stand-out tackle when he slid in to deny Brett Williams when he was about to pull the trigger.

“Andrew has won a lot of headers,” said Moore.

“It will take time for him to come in and settle.

“He’s done all right and was unfortunate with the one which went over his head and went straight to the lad who was through but he’s gone and made a tremendous tackle to redeem himself.”

Worley faces probably at least a further week out while the club will monitor Bates, whose experience will be missed in a young defence.

“He felt his Achilles, he kicked the ball long and he felt a tweak,” said Moore.