Lee watched on from the stands at Hillsborough in midweek as Pools secured a remarkable 3-0 win over League One side Sheffield Wednesday in the Papa John’s Trophy, but now he must look to replicate that in the FA Cup this afternoon against another League One opponent.
Pools are well versed in dealing with higher level opposition having knocked out League One promotion chasers Wycombe Wanderers in the previous round.
Mark Cullen’s goal was enough to settle the replay at Adam’s Park after the two sides shared four goals at the Suit Direct Stadium.
And all eyes will be on Lee’s first team selection as Pools boss after the 43-year-old suggested this afternoon’s tie was a chance to evaluate his squad.
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"This week with the Sheffield game and the Lincoln game it’s a great opportunity for us to have a look at the squad and what we’ve got with a big focus on Wednesday night. That’s our main thing,” said Lee.
“The league form isn’t where we want but this game in the FA Cup we’re desperate to win it. We really want to win it and we’re going to go in to it and give everything we can but it’s probably one of them, we’ve all played in them games, where League One are expected to win.
"So we go there and the pressure is all on them and we’ll just go and see what we can do.”
While there can be no guarantees over who will start this afternoon’s FA Cup tie, one thing we can be assured of is the pride Lee will feel when he takes to the away dugout at Sincil Bank.
“It will be a bit surreal. I’ve envisioned it for many years. It’s a proud moment for both of us, you just want to get started. Being on the grass with the lads was fantastic, the response from the lads was fantastic. Stood there on Saturday I’ll be very proud.”
Stay tuned to the Hartlepool Mail for live updates throughout Pools’ FA Cup tie with Lincoln.
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Lincoln City 0-1 Hartlepool United LIVE: Updates from Sincil Bank
Last updated: Saturday, 04 December, 2021, 17:06
- Lewis Fiorini own goal gives Hartlepool the lead
- Hartlepool United XI: Killip, Ogle, Byrne, Liddle, Odusina, Ferguson, Featherstone, Shelton, Daly, Cullen, Molyneux
- Subs: Mitchell, Hendrie, Francis-Angol, Jones, Smith, Holohan, Crawford, Goodwin, Fondop
- Lincoln City XI: Long, Poole, Montsma, Jackson, Maguire, Bishop, Adelakun, McGrandles, Fiorini, Nlundlu, Robson
- Graeme Lee takes charge of Hartlepool United for the first time
Lincoln City 0 Hartlepool United 1
Hartlepool United booked their spot in the third round of the FA Cup as they claimed another League One scalp in Lincoln City.
An own goal from Lewis Fiorini early in the second half was enough to settle the tie as Pools got off to a winning start under new manager Graeme Lee.
Lee made nine changes to the side who defeated SHeffield Wednesday in midweek in the Papa John’s Trophy with Luke Molyneux and Mark Cullen leading the line.
Timi Odusina and Mark Shelton were the only two to keep their places with Lee also keeping faith in a back five.
Pools should have taken the lead in the early stages with Reagan Ogle picked Matty Daly out from 12 yards but the Huddersfield Town loanee dragged wide.
Luke Molyneux was next to have a chancd when Nicky Featherstone picked him out but Sam Long was on hand to smother.
Pools had to do some defending of their own as the League One side grabbed hold of the possession and Ben Killip was forced into a good save to deny Hakeeb Adelakun from close range.
But it was Pools creating the better of the chances as Cullen was picked out by Daly after a sloppy pass from Lewis Montsma but Cullen’s effort lacked conviction as the sides went in level at the break.
But the visitors didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough in the second half as Featherstone’s freekick was hammered back across goal and turned into his own net by Fiorini.
And Lee’s side remained largely untroubled from Lincoln to seal a memorable day for Lee in charge of Pools for the first time.
POOLS ARE THROUGH
Sanders over hits a pass for Fiorini and it goes out for a goal kick
Four minutes added
Good punch away from Killip from Sanders’ cross
Holohan replaces Daly
Killip fumbles Sanders’ cross but gets away with it. He’s deserved that bit of luck this afternoon
Brave from Killip to collect Maguire’s cross from the right
Maguire sends a cross over the roof of the stand
The weather takes a turn for the worse but Pools fans continue in fine voice