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Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Improving Pools set to punish cash-strapped Dagenham

Ebbsfleet can secure first home points of the season

Luke James (left) has impressed since returning to Hartlepool
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3pm Saturday

Hartlepool had a tough first season in the National League but they look better for the experience and can climb into the top half by posting a first away win of the season at struggling Dagenham & Redbridge.

There were signs of improvement from Pools at the end of last term as they lost just two of their final 11 matches.

And supporters were given a little more encouragement as the club set about enhancing their squad this summer.

An exciting new-look attack has been put together with popular striker Luke James returning to the club after four-year absence and prolific forward Niko Muir joining from Hendon.

It is early days but Muir has settled in nicely, scoring twice in five appearances, and James got off the mark with a goal in last Saturday's 2-1 success at home to Maidenhead.

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The win was Pools' first of the season and they have a great chance of following it up against cash-strapped Dagenham, who look relegation candidates.

After a summer of cost cutting the Daggers have taken just one point from five games and are already three points adrift of safety.

Their experienced manager Peter Taylor knows the non-league scene inside out but he has taken on a tough job and the wait for a first victory is set to continue.

Mid-table Ebbsfleet are still waiting to secure their first home points of the season but three could arrive at the expense of lowly Aldershot.

The Fleet have suffered narrow 1-0 defeats at home to likely promotion contenders Chesterfield and Sutton but this weekend's task looks easier.

Aldershot have pushed for promotion in recent seasons but key players have left this summer and manager Gary Waddock is struggling to pick up the pieces.

The Shots lost 2-0 at home to promoted Harrogate last Saturday and their poor start may continue.

2pts 15-8 bet365
2pts 21-20 Sky Bet

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An exciting new-look attack has been put together with popular striker Luke James returning to the club after four-year absence
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