Tuesday 1st August 2023
Hartlepool United v Sunderland
The Suit Direct Stadium
Tickets & Match Coverage
Tickets: Away tickets are sold out.
TV/Stream: Full live match coverage is available here.
The new Championship season is so close that you can almost taste it, and whilst it feels like the side we saw play against Mallorca on Saturday at the Stadium of Light is probably the team that will play the first game against Ipswich on Sunday, this game against recently-relegated Hartlepool United represents the final chance for the best of the rest to show Tony Mowbray why they should figure into his plans for the weekend.
Ultimately these friendlies are about getting fit ahead of the real action starting, but if you’re Lynden Gooch, Abdoullah Ba, Alex Pritchard, Nectar Triantis, Danny Batth, Jewi Bennette or Isaac Lihadji you’ll be hoping you can earn your spot in the side with a good performance - and, at worst, you get those all-important minutes in the legs so that you’re ready should you be called upon.
Hartlepool have offered up semi-regular opposition during recent years in pre-season, and given they’re only a short trot down the A19 away it makes sense to pay them a visit and get another good run-out under our belts.
Despite arriving at the club towards the end of February as they were sliding towards the National League once again, John Askey wasn’t able to keep Pools up and, as such, they’re facing the daunting prospect of a season in non-league for the first time since 2021.
They also start their season on Saturday, heading south to take on Barnet, so quite how strong their starting eleven will be tonight remains to be seen. They’ve had some mixed results in pre-season, starting things off with a nice 2-1 win over Boro before drawing with Blyth Spartans, battering Redcar Athletic and then losing last Friday 2-1 at home to League Two Harrogate Town.
The away end is sold out, so it should be a canny occasion no matter what happens, and for Sunderland we can only hope our players not only get through the occasion unscathed but also manage to keep up our unbeaten record in pre-season to help add to the momentum we’ve built up leading into our new season, one which I’m sure which will be full of hope and optimism in what has been a really exciting period for the club on the pitch.
Last time we met... at Victoria Park
Monday 22nd July 2023
Hartlepool United 1-1 Sunderland
[E Taylor (OG) 2’ - Embleton 45’]
Hartlepool: Killip (Letheran 46), Tumility, Lacey (Menayese 46), Murray (Shelton 46), Ferguson (Paterson 46), Featherstone, Cooke (Niang 46), Crawford, Hastie (Ndjoli 46), Grey, Hamilton (Umerah 46)
Sunderland: Carney, Winchester, Batth, Alese, Hume, Matete, O’Nien, Sohna (Spellman 84), Taylor, Embleton, Diamond. Subs not used: Patterson, Wright, Ballard, Stewart, Cirkin, Evans, Roberts, Neil, Pritchard, Clarke, Gooch
Played for both...
His time at Sunderland was largely forgettable, but for Jack Baldwin it was probably his spell as a Hartlepool United player where he enjoyed the best football of his career.
Starring for Pools as a trialist aged just 18, Baldwin earned himself a contract having done really well during pre-season and he went on to spend three successful seasons in the north east in a blue and white shirt.
Having fully established himself as a key player during the 2013-14 season, Baldwin became the subject of interest from higher placed clubs and was eventually sold to ambitious Peterborough United, who paid a whopping £500k to secure his services.
He went on to become Peterborough United’s captain and after making 100 appearances across four years he then made the trek back to the north east to join recently-relegated Sunderland, forming part of Jack Ross’s new defence as we aimed to launch an assault on the third tier in the hope of achieving an immediate return to the Championship...
... and we all know how that went.