Carlisle United moved to bolster their fragile defence on deadline day by signing rookie defender Conor Townsend from Premier League Hull City.
The Cumbrians have struggled at both ends of the pitch so far this season and boss Greg Abbott has been active in the loan market, signing defender Troy Archibald-Henville ahead of last weekend’s draw with Brentford.
Now he has moved again to bring in young defender Townsend, who has had loan spells at Grimsby and Chesterfield.
“Conor has been out on loan before and he has a lot of people saying a lot of good things about him,” he said.
“He’s keen to come here and make his mark at League One level and we think he’s one who will do that. I spoke to Steve Agnew about him, at length, and he’s a player who is very highly thought of.
“He’s already shown at Grimsby and Chesterfield that he’s hungry and his attitude earned him long spells with those clubs. He conquered both levels and this is a move which could be very positive for all concerned. He’s definitely one we are looking forward to working with.”
Meanwhile, Hartlepool take on Bradford City in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy without either Steve Howard and Antony Sweeney.
Colin Cooper’s men have not scored once in five League Two encounters this season but he will hope for some respite in a competition which carries the prize of a Wembley place at the end of it.
That is a million miles away from an evening clash against League One opponents, but Cooper will see it as a chance to generate some momentum.
He will have to do it without front-line forward Howard, who was left nursing six stitches in his eye after a clash with Torquay defender Aaron Downes.
“He was as angry as a bear at half-time and probably wanted some retribution,” Cooper said.
“But his eye was starting to close and his vision was a bit blurred so it was best to bring him off. Stevie came off an angry person because he thought Downs had got away with murder.
“He might struggle for Tuesday now if his eye closes up any more.”