by Jeff King
Another day, another game! United have hardly had time to draw breath and they'll be out on The Park again trying to keep their Championship challenge going. It won't be easy as FC Hartlepool lie in wait for the league leading visitors.
This is a curtain-raiser for next Monday's Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final which will take place at The Riverside on Easter Monday with an 11:30am kick-off. It'll be interesting to see what teams both sides put out and how much can be learned from the game.
The last time the two sides met was way back on the 18th September last year when United ran out 5 - 1 winners with goals from Taylor Robinson, James Bakou, Abdullah Alawahdi and a brace from Jak McKinley. Hartlepools coming from Luke Naylor. It is likely to be two very different line-ups tonight.
As well as next week's Monkwearmouth Charity Cup Final, FC Hartlepool will also contest the Alan Hood Charity Cup Final against Gateshead Leam Rangers next month. It shows how tough and competitive they are as a side and probably belies their league position.
After 27 games they have accumulated 42 points with 13 wins, 3 draws and 11 defeats. They've scored 50 goals and conceded 47. On Saturday they beat Washington United 4 - 2 with goals from Rob Hammons, Jamie Tumilty, Craig Linsel and Matty Gardner.
That was Linsel's 17th league goal of the season and over all he has 27 in all competitions to lead his side. Sam Cook has chipped in from midfield with 11 in all competitions including eight in the league.
Defender Dean Cope has picked up four Man of the Match awards, Naylor 4 and he also has 6 goals with Brandon Moran getting the nod on three occasions.
It's another crucial must win game for United which kicks off at Grayfields Enclosure at 18:30pm.