PREVIEW: Hartlepool United (H)

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Orient look to get back to winning ways this weekend as they take on Hartlepool United at a packed Breyer Group Stadium.

THE MONKEY HANGERS

Dave Challinor’s side are 8th in League Two ahead of Saturday’s clash with the O’s who find themselves two places and three points behind the Monkey Hangers. The Pools have accumulated 23 points from 14 games, winning seven and drawing two.

Hartlepool opened their return to the Football League with a late winner against Crawley thanks to an 88th minute goal from Gavan Holohan. The Pools were then dumped out the Carabao Cup to ten-man Crewe, before losing away at Barrow in the league.

Challinor’s men bounced back with back-to-back wins over Walsall and Carlisle. Carlisle didn’t have to wait long to get their revenge as they beat Hartlepool on penalties in the Papa John’s Trophy in their next game.

That started what would be a disappointing September for the Monkey Hangers as they picked up one win in six games. That run included defeats to Tranmere, Sutton and Stevenage. They picked up points against Oldham and Exeter with their only win coming against Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers.

That poor form quickly turned around as they only lost one of their next five. Hartlepool started their purple patch against League One Morecambe in the Papa John’s Trophy before beating Northampton at Victoria Park. Defeat to Salford put a slight dent in their run but that was soon forgotten, as the Pools beat high flying Bradford City and Harrogate Town to put themselves one place outside the play-off positions going into this Saturday’s game.

KEY PLAYER

Gavan Holohan has been a crucial member of Challinor’s Hartlepool team since his appointment in 2019. The Irishman joined the Pools in 2019 on a short term deal before extending his contract in the summer of that year after impressing during his 7 appearances. His first full season in the north east saw the midfielder score eight in 29 games. The 2019/20 season was cancelled due to COVID-19 which meant Hartlepool’s play-off dreams were snatched away as the league went for a points per game format to determine the outcome of the season. The following season Hartlepool and Holohan meant business.

The 29-year-old was one of the leagues stand out players scoring eight goals in 40 games and helping Hartlepool make it all the way to the play-off final where they beat Torquay United on penalties at Ashton Gate. Holohan’s season in League Two has been disrupted with injuries, but that hasn’t stopped him already scoring twice in the league including a last minute winner against Crawley on the opening day of the season.

KENNY JACKETT

Kenny Jackett demands more going forward as he looks ahead to Saturday’s six-pointer against Hartlepool United.

THE OFFICIALS

Referee: Alan Young

Assistants: Geoffrey Russell and James Vallance

Fourth Official: Samuel Ogles

Young has been in charge of two game this season, booking two players.

Young last took charge of a game involving Orient last season when the O’s drew 0-0 at The Breyer Group Stadium to Stevenage. The official showed four yellow cards that day which were split evenly between the two sides.

TOCA Social 

Book your post-match night out at TOCA Social in the O2, the world’s first interactive football and dining experience, combining immersive gaming and world class food and drink. O’s fans get a 10% discount on box bookings and free O’s Sharing Cocktail or Mocktail on arrival*! Check out your matchday programme for the discount code and book online here.

*Online bookings only; code must be applied at checkout to receive the discount and arrival cocktail.

Tommy Club

Today’s Remembrance match supports the O’s home shirt charity partner, Tommy Club. The funds raised through Tommy Club, which is run by Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI), provide the vital welfare support and employment opportunities military veterans need to overcome challenges caused by physical or mental disability and regain their independence.

A special Limited Edition Leyton Orient Tommy statuette will be on display in the Club Shop, and fans can now purchase their own online here.

Tommy Club volunteers will also be collecting donations before and after the match outside the stadium, as well as inside the ground at half-time – cash donations will be accepted so please bring along your spare change!

Veteran George Bradford, Tommy Club Founding Patron