Hartlepool did it the hard way last season as they came back into the Football League, following a three-season absence, via the nail-biter that is always the National League play-off final.
It's been a fortnight of change at the Vic with assistant boss Joe Parkinson stepping down from his role for personal reasons. Former Everton midfielder Parkinson had joined Dave Challinor at Pools in November 2019, and was part of last season's promotion push.
Also heading through the exit door is head physio Ian Gallagher. Gallagher, affectionately known as Buster, had spent the best part of 27 years with the club prior to his departure earlier this week.
There'll be some familiar faces to say hello to at the weekend with Mark Cullen, Gary Liddle and Olufela Olomola in the building, with Liddle having started all four games played so far.
They missed out on a midweek game last week due to Newport County's playing surface not being ready, but have two victories from three outings so far to thank for their healthy early league position.
A superb 88th minute strike from Gavan Holohan marked the first game back in the league with a win over Crawley, and that was backed up by another solid home victory over Walsall last Saturday.
The only defeat so far, 3-2 at Barrow, was a sickener with Pools having twice come back from behind.
August has been busy transfer wise with defender Jake Lawlor joining Cullen as a capture. Winger Tyler Burey came in on-loan from Millwall, and former Derby keeper Jon Mitchell also signed on the dotted line. A half-season loan deal for Stoke forward Will Goodwin was the most recent part of the activity.
20-year-old Tyler Burey has already been on the score sheet and he's one that has been followed by a number of clubs with a view to a loan deal.
He built up a great reputation with Wimbledon before joining Millwall, and could be one to watch in League Two this season, as well as for this weekend's game.
Fast and good on the ball, he'll be in the team as much for his assists as well as for having an eye for the target.
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|Carlisle wins||Draws||Hartlepool wins|
United most definitely hold the bragging rights having won six and drawn two of the last eight meetings between these clubs.
You have to go back as far as January 2012 to find the last time Pools won - that was an impressive 4-0 home win.
Hartlepool 1 - 1 United, Friday 14 April 2017
United 3 - 2 Hartlepool, Saturday 15 October 2016
United 1 - 0 Hartlepool, Tuesday 5 April 2016
Hartlepool 2 - 3 United, Saturday 29 August 2015
Referee - Andy Woolmer
Assistant Referee 1 - Sam Lewis
Assistant Referee 2 - James Wilson
Fourth Official - Conor Brown
Observer - Roy Pearson
Our referee for this fixture is Andy Woolmer. Andy has taken charge of four games so far this season, showing 13 yellow cards and no reds.
It's been just under four years since we last had him as the man in the middle for one of our games. That was a 1-1 away draw at Gillingham in the second round of the FA Cup in December 2017. Luke O'Neill put the hosts ahead with just five minutes on the clock but United rallied and were quickly back on terms courtesy of a Danny Grainger penalty. No United names were taken on the day.
Our ticket allocation for this fixture has SOLD OUT.
Please do not travel across to the Hartlepool on the day unless you are in possession of a valid match ticket.