HEAD TO HEAD: A brief history between Swindon Town and Hartlepool

First published in Sport

UP UNTIL six years ago, the County Ground was not a happy hunting ground for Hartlepool.

The north east club endured a torrid time on many of their early visits to Wiltshire following their first trip to SN1 in February 1969, losing six out of eight games at Swindon.

After drawing 1-1 with the Robins in their first clash at the County Ground, Pools lost their next five, conceding three goals on four of those occasions.

That run was brought to an end in May 2004 with a 1-1 draw that had huge significance to both teams.

A point was enough for each to earn themselves a place in the League One play-offs, and Sammy Igoe’s effort was cancelled out by Adam Boyd to ensure that happened.

Unfortunately for both sides, their respective play-off adventures did not go any further than the semi-final stage.

Town lost on penalties to Brighton while Hartlepool were dumped out by Bristol City.

Goals from Darius Henderson and Sam Parkin and Michael Nelson’s own goal handed Swindon a 3-0 win on the next meeting between the sides in Wiltshire, but from then on in Hartlepool have had plenty more luck at the County Ground.

In fact, Town have won just one of the last six games between the sides in SN1 - their last victory coming more than five years and four matches ago, when Simon Cox and Barry Corr’s penalty secured a 2-1 win.

Swindon have failed to score on three of the last five occasions the teams have squared up at the County Ground, with Matt Ritchie netting Town’s goal in the 1-1 draw in the most recent meeting in April 2011.

Bizarrely, there has been an own goal or a penalty in five of the 14 games between Swindon and Hartlepool in Wiltshire.

Town’s overall record in this fixture reads: played 14, won seven, drawn four, lost three.

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