National League fixtures released: The key dates and Hartlepool United matches to look out for
The 2019-20 National League fixtures have been announced as Hartlepool United’s season starts to take shape.
Pools’ gruelling 46 game schedule will begin and end at the Super 6 Stadium at home to Sutton United and Torquay United respectively.
Here are the key dates to look out for in 2019-20...
Opening day – Saturday, August 3 – Sutton United (H)
Pools will host Sutton United at the Super 6 Stadium to start their campaign.
Sutton ended last season in 9th position having made the play-off semi-final the year prior.
August Bank Holiday – Monday, August 26 – Wrexham (H)
Coming just two days after a Saturday game at Chorley, the Bank Holiday Monday match will be Pools’ seventh match of the season in just over three weeks.
And it’s a big Bank Holiday match-up against last season’s play-off semi-finalists Wrexham at the Super 6 Stadium.
Boxing Day – Thursday, December 26 – Harrogate Town (H)
The Boxing Day/New Year’s Day double header is one of the most discussed fixtures of the National League calendar.
Traditionally, teams tend to play their closest rivals to cut down on travel time over the busy festive period.
But now Gateshead have been demoted, Pools don’t have any nearby rivals with Harrogate Town now the closest side.
Fortunately the National League chose to pair Pools with their closest opposition in the division Harrogate opposed to Barrow.
Poolies will make the short journey down the A19 this Boxing Day for the match.
New Year’s Day – Wednesday, January 1 – Harrogate Town (A)
After facing Harrogate on Boxing Day, the North Yorkshire outfit will then travel up to the Super 6 Stadium to welcome the New Year in what is sure to be a tough festive double header for Craig Hignett’s side.
Good Friday – Friday, April 10 – Wrexham (A)
For the second time in the 2019-20 season, Pools will face Wrexham on a Bank Holiday.
This time, they travel to Wales to face a potential promotion challenging Wrexham side at the Racecourse Ground.
Both of Pools’ previous Good Friday matches in the National League have ended 2-1 in their favour. Last season saw Luke James and Luke Molyneux cancel out Devante Rodney’s early strike at home to Halifax Town.
In 2018, a Michael Woods’ brace helped Matthew Bates’ side to a 2-1 win at Maidstone.
Easter Monday – Monday, April 13 – Chorley (H)
United’s Easter Monday record is a direct contrast to their perfect Good Friday results in the National League.
On both occasions, Pools have followed up their 2-1 Good Friday wins with 1-0 defeats on the Monday.
Last season was the final away day of the 2018-19 campaign as around 1,200 medieval knight’s witnessed Pools suffer a 1-0 defeat at Barrow.
In 2017-18, the club suffered a home defeat by the same scoreline to relegated Guiseley.
They will be looking to set that Easter Monday record straight when they host newly promoted Chorley for the first time in a league match.
Final day – Saturday, April 25 – Torquay United (H)
Hartlepool manager Craig Hignett has stated his intent to still be playing for something going into the final weeks of the season, whether that be for the play-off places or the league title itself.
The past two years have seen Pools playing for nothing going into matchday 46 which is slightly ironic given that they’ve beaten both of their promotion chasing final day opponents.
Last season’s 3-2 win at home to Salford City ended a difficult season on a positive note for Hignett’s men.
Pools ended the 2017-18 campaign with a 2-1 victory at Tranmere Rovers who, like Salford, went on to win the play-off final a couple of weeks later.
So perhaps final day opponents Torquay United will be feeling more optimistic ahead of their 735 mile round trip to the Super 6 Stadium for the final match of the regular season.
The National League play-offs will then commence with teams placed 2nd to 7th going head to head before the promotion final at Wembley Stadium on May 10.
Hartlepool’s full fixture list…
Sat Aug 3 Sutton United H
Tue Aug 6 FC Halifax Town A
Sat Aug 10 Maidenhead United A
Tue Aug 13 AFC Fylde H
Sat Aug 17 Bromley H
Sat Aug 24 Chorley A
Mon Aug 26 Wrexham H
Sat Aug 31 Torquay United A
Tue Sep 3 Barrow A
Sat Sep 7 Woking H
Sat Sep 14 Dagenham & Redbridge A
Sat Sep 21 Dover Athletic H
Tue Sep 24 Chesterfield H
Sat Sep 28 Eastleigh A
Sat Oct 5 Yeovil Town H
Tue Oct 8 Stockport County A
Sat Oct 12 Aldershot Town A
Sat Oct 19 Emirates FA Cup 4Q
Sat Oct 26 Barnet H
Tue Oct 29 Solihull Moors H
Sat Nov 2 Notts County A
Sat Nov 16 Ebbsfleet United A
Sat Nov 23 Boreham Wood H
Tue Nov 26 Chesterfield A
Sat Nov 30 Eastleigh H
Sat Dec 7 Woking A
Sat Dec 21 Dagenham & Redbridge H
Thu Dec 26 Harrogate Town A
Sat Dec 28 Barrow H
Wed Jan 1 Harrogate Town H
Sat Jan 4 Dover Athletic A
Sat Jan 18 Yeovil Town A
Sat Jan 25 Stockport County H
Sat Feb 1 Barnet A
Sat Feb 8 Aldershot Town H
Sat Feb 15 Solihull Moors A
Sat Feb 22 Notts County H
Sat Feb 29 Boreham Wood A
Sat Mar 7 Ebbsfleet United H
Sat Mar 14 Sutton United A
Sat Mar 21 FC Halifax Town H
Sat Mar 28 AFC Fylde A
Sat Apr 4 Maidenhead United H
Fri Apr 10 Wrexham A
Mon Apr 13 Chorley H
Sat Apr 18 Bromley A
Sat Apr 25 Torquay United H