Who? Hartlepool United
Where? Victoria Park, Hartlepool
What? Sky Bet League Two Matchday One
When? Saturday 7 August, 3pm
Hartlepool United Football Club was formed as a professional club in 1908 from a successful Amateur Cup-winning team, and joined the League in 1921.
The Club moved past their Centenary year in 2008 and are currently enjoying one of the stronger periods since their formation.
Last season, Hartlepool United were promoted back up to League Two after a fantastic season in the National League under Manager Dave Challinor. The Pools finished 4th place behind winners Sutton United, as well as second-placed Torquay United and third-placed Stockport County, but had to fight their way back up to the football league via the play-offs.
Hartlepool had to get past three strong sides consecutively to achieve promotion, beating Bromley 3-2 before then defeating favourited Stockport County in the semis by a goal to nil.
In a dramatic play-off final against Torquay United, the Pools led for 95 minutes before the Torquay goalkeeper, Lucas Covolan, equalised in the dying stages to take it to extra-time. The game later led to penalties and Hartlepool were victorious after missing their first two spot-kicks.
The teams have met six times, with Hartlepool winless in these encounters. Three games have ended with a Crawley win, while the other three fixtures were drawn. The last game between the sides was in January 2017 when James Collins’ goal in the 63rd minute gave us a home win.
Crawley have impressed throughout pre-season remaining unbeaten in eight consecutive fixtures before a heavily rotated side was beaten by Beckenham Town on Tuesday evening by a goal to nil.
The Reds recorded fantastic 1-6 and 0-5 thrashings of Horley Town and Horsham and also defeated West Ham United U23 and Tottenham Hotspur U23 by the same scoreline of 2-1 at The People’s Pension Stadium.
The Pools have also enjoyed a productive pre-season, but lost out 2-1 to Blyth Spartans over a week ago.