Hartlepool United are looking for a giant leap out of the relegation zone when they meet with Newport County this weekend with the Monkey Hangers sitting just above Crawley Town in the fight to survive in League Two.
Hartlepool survived in the Football League by the skin of their teeth last season and it looks as if we're going to have a similar outcome this campaign. Ahead of this one, they are in 22nd place and above Crawley in 23rd by just one point. Worse yet, Hartlepool have the worst defensive record in the division with 70 goals let in and 48 goals scored of their own.
At the same time, the club have managed to lose 18 times now in the league. On the other hand, they have managed to put together an excellent run of form in recent weeks with a 1-1 draw against promotion hopefuls Stevenage, as Hartlepool also smashed Grimsby Town 4-1 at Blundell Park just one week ago after a hat-trick from Daniel Harry Kemp and a finish late on from Josh Umerah.
Prior to this, the Monkey Hangers defeated Swindon Town 2-1 and also drew 1-1 with Leyton Orient and 2-2 with Bradford City, while also drawing with Northampton Town, Tranmere Rovers and Walsall. It means an unbeaten run of eight games for the relegation fighters since they, ironically, lost to Newport County back in February.
Mickey Demetriou scored in stoppage time that day at Victoria Park, as Hartlepool failed to have a single shot on target from seven efforts. What's more, the club also had 54% of the ball as Newport had five shots on target from 13 efforts.
As for Newport, their excellent 3-0 win over second-placed Northampton Town last Friday seems like a million years ago already after getting smashed 4-0 by Stockport County away from home. Also in April, the Welsh outfit managed to draw 0-0 with Colchester United and they now sit above Hartlepool by eight points and are nine clear of relegation with a game in hand.
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