Writer: Owen H
Date:Friday September 17 2010
18/09/2010 - 3pm
Hartlepool United look to stop a run of three consecutive defeats as they travel south to Brentford.
Home Team Focus:
Andy Scott is in his third full season as Brentford boss and the bees have made steady progress in League One under his stewardship. This season has started steadily for the bees and it looks like they are beginning to find their feet in the 2010/2011 campaign. Scott`s side are undefeated in their last three games winning two and drawing one, although they have not been prolific in front of goal as of yet, it is in defense where they have excelled keeping clean sheets in all three games of their unbeaten run. Confidence is growing by the minute at Brentford and with the visit of Premier League Everton in the League Cup on Tuesday night; the visit of Hartlepool United is the ideal fixture for the Bees mid-week preparations. United have failed to win at Brentford in over 30 years. Dutch defender Pim Balkestein is confident of a victory not only against Pools but also for the remainder of the season. He also suggested that his team had shown enough promise against Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday to have a strong season in League One.
"If they produced the sort of performance they had in the second half against Rovers they would get the right results. We have three clean sheets in a row, we have to build on that and Saturday there will be a big three points up for grabs. Our results haven't been that good but nearly every game we are on top, I think the results will change. We have to start on Saturday as we started the second half against Bristol Rovers and the three points will come. We have already shown this season - against Hull City and Sheffield Wednesday - what a good side we have and what good players we are." Pim Balkestein (Brentford)
Away Team Focus:
Hartelpools bright start to the season seems to have already faded away with Mick Wadsworth`s side losing their last 3 league games on the bounce. A battling 1-0 defeat away at MK Dons was sandwiched in between a 0-5 smashing at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday and last Saturdays disappointing 2-3 home defeat against Exeter. Wadsworth received a hammer blow this week with the announcement that first choice keeper Scott Flinders will be out injured for 3 months with a ruptured thumb. This compounds Wadsworths thoughts, earlier this week, on his inherited squad. In a similar vain to last season, Pools appear to be picking up more points on the road than at home. Picking up one win, one draw and one defeat, scoring 2 goals and only conceding 1. Where as at home Hartlepool have yet to win a league game and have conceded a massive 10 goals in 3 games. Wadsworth has spoken about the squad`s lack of depth at the back and how he has the team working hard so the team defends as well as home as they do away. One thing is for sure, with Flinders and Rafferty Hartlepool will definitely need the team to dig-in and stand-up to protect which ever young keeper gets the nod over the coming weeks and months.
"We've got a big squad and I'm not sure the balance is right. If we lose defenders we're a lot thinner than if we lose players in advanced positions - that worries me. Any good team is built on solid foundations of a good defence - we have to work very hard to look as solid at home as we have away" Mick Wadsworth (HUFC)
Brentford boss Andy Scott has been handed some good news in the run up to Saturdays game, with the news that Robbie Simpson could be available for selection. Simpson missed last weekends game with Bristol Rovers with a hamstring problem but should be fit to face Hartlepool. David Hunt is Scott's only major injury concern, Hunt faces a month out with ankle ligament damage.
Craig Woodman is in his first season playing for Brentford after a summer transfer from Wycombe and he appears to have settled into life at Brentford very well. The left back has started every game so far this season for the Bee's and has wracked up 3 assists and one goal as well as playing his part in 3 clean sheets. Woodman seems to be a man in form who is as dangerous going forward as he is solid at defending.
Hartlepool boss Mick Wadsworth has been dealt a massive blow for the trip to Brentford with the news that first choice keeper Scott Fliders will be missing through injury. Flinders joins second choice keeper Andy Rafferty, midifelder Joe Gamble and strikers James Brown on the injured list. On loan goal-keeper Jake Kean and youth team keeper Liam Mooney will both be invovled in the squad that travels to Brentford. Wadsworth will not only have to decide between to young keepers but also decide weather to play Ritchie Humphreys upfront for the second week running. Dennis behan will also be looking for a chance to impress the boss against his former club.
Ritchie Humphreys has just been given the news that he will recieve a testimonial for his services at Hartlepool United, he also has the record for most appearance for Hartlepool United in his sights. Undoubtedly this is a special season for the former Sheffield Wednesday man. The big question going into Saturdays game is where exactly will Humphreys play? In his time at the club he has played left back, left wing, centre midfield and as a striker, a position he played in and scored from on Saturday.
Nine players have pulled on the colours of both clubs including Joe Allon, Paul Stephenson and current Pools man Dennis Behan. There has been 36 league meetings between Hartlepool and Brentford, in the 18 games played at Brentford, Hartlpeool have only won 3, drawn 3 and have lost a massive 12 games. Infact Pools have not won away at Brentford since 1974 but have managed to draw on their last three trips down south.
Brentford 3 - 1 Hartlepool With Hartlepool losing their last 3 games and withouth either first or second choice goal keeper, it is unlikely that Hartelpool will make history with their first win at Brentford in over 30 years. Brentfords form is polar opposite to Hartlepool with Scott's men unbeaten in the last three games.
Up next for Pools is the visit of Walsall on Saturday 25th September, this game is quickly followed by Carlsile on Tuesday 28th.
Date:Friday September 17 2010
John Hughes and Micky Barron Sacked (Thursday May 9 2013)
Evan Horwood Heads Hartlepool Exit List (Tuesday May 7 2013)
Hartlepool End Season With Crawley Draw (Saturday April 27 2013)
Solid Draw In Hartlepool's Final Home Game (Saturday April 20 2013)
Hartlepool Record Shock Away Win (Saturday April 13 2013)
Monkhouse Double Lifts Pools Off The Bottom (Saturday April 6 2013)
Not So Good Friday For Hartlepool (Friday March 29 2013)
Another Blank Leaves Hartlepool Rock Bottom (Saturday March 23 2013)
Limp Defeat Leaves Pools Facing League 2 (Tuesday March 19 2013)
Games Running Out For Hartlepool (Sunday March 17 2013)
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