Hartlepool United vs. Sheffield United
Updated Friday, 30th March 2012
Sheffield United travel to the North East tomorrow to face Hartlepool United for the third time this season.
The pair met in the league for the final fixture of 2011 at Bramall Lane in front of over 20,000 - United leaped into a three goal lead through Ryan Flynn (12 minutes), Chris Porter (34) and Ched Evans (42) before half-time but failed to make further advances after the break; 'The Pool' grabbed a consolation through Peter Hartley (90) but the win was in the bag for the Blades (3-1).
Blades boss Danny Wilson now has a selection headache ahead of tomorrows game; Lescinel Jean-Francois (knee) and Chris Morgan (knee) are both absent through injury. Though he is without Erik Tonne (York City) and David McAllister (Shrewsbury Town) who are away from the club on loan. Winger Michael O'Halloran, 21 could make his Sheffield United debut after arriving on loan from Bolton Wanderers last week.
Midfielder Nick Montgomery (calf) has returned to the club after receiving an injury whilst on loan at Millwall; he played just nine minutes for the Lions.
Blades boss Danny Wilson is likely to field defender Neill Collins to face his former club; he spent time at Victoria Park on loan (from Sunderland) between August 2005 and January 2006; making his debut in a 1-0 victory at Doncaster Rovers. He made 25 (+0) appearances in total.
A Ryan Noble (65) goal at Yeovil Town last Saturday was enough to secure a 1-0 victory; it was the first time that Hartlepool had won for seven matches - a result which leaves the Pool eleventh in the table.
United boss Neale Cooper will be sweating on the fitness of duo Paul Hartley (leg) and Luke James (back) ahead of tomorrow's clash against the Blades. Hartley was stretched off at Huish Park fearing a broken leg but despite fears recovered and has resumed training.
Meanwhile Colin Nish has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after he underwent a knee operation, whilst Colin Larkin (knee), Nolberto Solano (ilness) and James Poole (thigh and hamstring) are all ruled out through injury.
They are likely to field defender Evan Horwood, 25 against his former club. A product of the Blades Academy he made just one appearance in a 2-0 defeat at Reading in the League Cup (October 2005) between July 2004 and January 2008 where upon leaving Bramall Lane signed for Scottish club Gretna.
Whilst at the Lane he was sent out on loan to Stockport County, Scunthorpe United, York City, Chester City and Darlington. He made the move to Hartlepool United (via Carlisle United) in July 2010 on a free transfer.