ADAM Reed is ready to fall out with friends and family this weekend as he hopes to help York City beat his home-town club, Hartlepool.
The City midfielder even grew up as a Pools fan himself when he lived ten minutes from Victoria Park as a schoolboy.
But, even if the allegiances of his nearest and dearest are likely to be with the hosts this weekend, Reed is targeting three points for the visitors.
Despite being only 22, tomorrow’s match will see Reed play at the home of his childhood heroes for a fifth different visiting team in the Football League but he is yet to taste victory there.
Having made his professional debut for Brentford during a 3-0 defeat at Hartlepool in March 2011, he has also lost 2-1 there with Leyton Orient and shared the spoils following trips with Portsmouth and Burton – the latter proving his last appearance for the Brewers before a new year switch to Bootham Crescent.
Due to being on Sunderland’s books for 14 years from the age of seven, Reed has never represented Hartlepool at any level but he still relishes locking horns with the place of his birth.
“When I was at Burton, Hartlepool was the first fixture I looked out for at the start of the season,” Reed admitted. “It’s my favourite ground to play at.
“We lived about ten minutes from the ground when I was growing up so I used to watch and support them from the Town End every home game.
“I started going with my dad when I was so small that I couldn’t even see the game really.
“I saw them get promoted when I was a kid and I went to a couple of away matches as well when I didn’t have a game with Sunderland.
“My family will be there tomorrow and quite a few others from home will be wanting me to do well but hoping Hartlepool win.
“Even though I will get some stick from my cousins and mates, though, I hope we can get another three points, which we are capable of getting.”
Hartlepool have only won one of their last 11 matches, including the 1-1 draw against Burton that saw Reed used as a 75th-minute substitute by the visitors.
But the former Black Cat is expecting a tough, high-tempo contest tomorrow, saying: “They are very similar to us – a very young and hard-working team.
“That is their base for everything. I think the team’s average age is only 23 and they have a lot of hungry players who want to impress in every game so it won’t be easy.
“I am sure we will take a few fans and there will be a good atmosphere so we have got to get off to a good start because they will be trying to get on their front foot as soon as they can. It’s a big game and I am looking forward to it.”
Cooper desperate for a 2014 kick-start
HARTLEPOOL United are still waiting to win their first points of 2014 ahead of tomorrow’s home match with York City.
Colin Cooper’s men have kicked off the New Year with three straight defeats and failed to score a single goal in any of those games.
Back-to-back 3-0 home defeats against Bury and Rochdale were followed by last weekend’s 2-0 loss at Fleetwood, where Jordan Richards’ third-minute red card saw the visitors play most of the match with ten men.
Richards was only playing because of ex-City youth scholar Michael Duckworth’s double hernia and his subsequent suspension gives Cooper problems at right-back.
The likely solution is that centre-back Jack Baldwin will fill the position, as he did at Fleetwood, with 36-year-old, ex-Port Vale and Hull defender Sam Collins lining up in the middle.
Prior to his setback, 21-year-old Duckworth had started all 27 matches following his mid-August move from part-timers Bradford Park Avenue and he is joined on the sidelines by winger James Poole, who has a hamstring injury.
Former Premier League striker Marlon Harewood will be fit enough, however, to make his home debut.
Signed in the transfer window from Bristol City, where he failed to make a single league start following his summer switch from Barnsley, the 34-year-old former West Ham striker, who once cost Aston Villa £4 million, completed 90 minutes against Fleetwood.
He will now renew an eagerly-anticipated partnership with Pools’ exciting 19-year-old striker Luke James against the Minstermen with the pair only lining up alongside each other for nine minutes at Fleetwood before the latter was sacrificed following Richards’ dismissal.
James is Hartlepool’s top scorer this term with ten goals although he has not netted in ten matches since a 2-0 home win over Northampton on November 23.
That victory also represents the last time Cooper’s team won at home, scoring just two goals during a five-game run without a triumph in front of their own fans.
In all games, the north-east outfit have won just once in 11 matches but have strengthened their squad ahead of tomorrow’s match by recruiting teenage wingers Luke Williams and Jack Barmby – the son of ex-England international Nick – on loan from Middlesbrough and Manchester United respectively.
Williams looks set to start but Barmby might need to settle for a place on the bench.
Hartlepool: (probable) Flinders; Baldwin, Burgess, Collins, Austin, Compton, Walton, Monkhouse, Williams, James, Harewood.
YORK City are making their first visit to Victoria Park since November 1, 2002, when they held Hartlepool United, at the time Division Three (League Two) leaders, to a goalless draw.
The line up that day was: Fettis, Edmondson, Parkin, Brass, Potter, Wood, Bullock, Brackstone, Cook, Nogan (Reddy), Duffield.
In total, City have made 47 Football League trips to Hartlepool winning 11 times and drawing ten.
The biggest success was 5-1 in 1958/59 when Peter Wragg scored a hat-trick and the heaviest reverse was in 1931/32 when they went down 7-2.
The last victory on this ground was in 1993/94 when former United players Jon McCarthy, pictured, and Tony Barratt netted in a 2-0 scoreline.
Others to have represented both clubs include George Patterson, Eddie Blackburn, Keith Houchen, John MacPhail, Kevin Dixon, Paul Baker, Paul Stephenson, Mark Tinkler and Lee Bullock.
The managerial and coaching links are John Bird, Alan Little and Viv Busby.
It happened on January 25
1958: In front of Bootham Crescent’s biggest post war crowd – 23,600 – City drew 0-0 with First Division (Premier) Bolton Wanderers in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The Trotters won the replay 3-0 and went on to win the Cup that season.
1964: A 1-1 home draw against Torquay United in Division Four. Jim Goldie was the scorer and the attendance was 2,877.
1977: Gordon Staniforth, with his first goal for the club, and Chris Galvin
netted in a 2-1 home victory over Chesterfield in the Third Division (League One) in front of 2,579.
1986: Altrincham were beaten 2-0 at Bootham Crescent in the fourth round of the FA Cup. The attendance was 8,842 and on target were Dale Banton and Gary Ford.
2003: City’s first visit to the KC Stadium ended goalless against Hull City. The crowd for this Division Three (League Two) encounter was 18,437.
2004: Huddersfield Town won 2-0 at Bootham Crescent in the Third Division watched by 6,969.
Compiled by David Batters