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05 Jul 2021 : National League play-off winners Hartlepool visit for extra warm-up fixture

The club is delighted to announce an exciting additional home pre-season friendly to our existing schedule - we will host League Two newcomers Hartlepool United on Saturday, July 17th.

The game is a big boost for us as it's very rare that we get chance to pitch ourselves against EFL opposition.

Hartlepool, who beat Torquay United on penalties in the recent National League play-off final at Bristol City's Ashton Gate to regain their place in the League, are managed by the former Tranmere Rovers player Dave Challinor.

Our assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe was right-hand man to Dave when the now Pools manager was in charge at AFC Fylde, the pair coming within a whisker of taking the Lancastrians back up into the fourth tier of English football.

Dave's knowledge of the North East scene was a particular help to us last season whenever we faced opposition from that area.

The Hartlepool game will be an excellent test for our players as well as a good occasion as we continue preparations for the forthcoming campaign and we are sure that our visitors will enjoy our playing surface!

The Hartlepool game replaces the home fixture against Pilkington with this fixture now switching to Tuesday, July 20th.

We are most grateful to Pilkington for their co-operation and understanding in the rescheduling of their trip.

Hartlepool are no strangers to the Linnets. The original club, Runcorn AFC twice encountered them in the "proper" rounds of the FA Cup.

In December 1977, the Linnets lost 4-2 in Round Two at Victoria Park - Phil Spencer's goal and an OG being consolation.

This game was notable for the emergency playing comeback of Jim Cumbes (ex- Runcorn, Tranmere and Aston Villa), who came out of retirement to keep goal in the absence of Mal Rawlinson.

Mally had been injured in the initial game of the replayed tie against Southport in the previous round.

The other meeting with Pools was at Canal Street in November 1990 when Hartlepool, (with a squad featuring the future Liverpool, Everton and Scotland star Don Hutchison), comfortably triumphed 3-0 in Round One.

Hartlepool were members of Division Four (equivalent of the modern-day League Two) on both occasions.

Runcorn were a Northern Premier League club in 1977 and in 1990 were playing in the GM Vauxhall Conference (now National League).

Kick off for the pre-season game against Hartlepool is 3pm and admission will be by ticket only.

Admission will be £7 for adults and £4 for concessions.

Ticketing arrangements will be published in due course on our website and social media feeds.

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