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Gateshead to play their home games at Hartlepool
GATESHEAD will play seven of their remaining 12 Blue Square Bet Premier home matches at Hartlepool's Victoria Park.
The Tynesiders have been suffering major drainage problems at their International Stadium home, and have been able to stage just one home fixture since November.
This afternoon's trip to Forest Green will be their ninth away game in the last ten matches, a run that has contributed to their slide to fifth bottom in the table.
Next Tuesday's game with Wrexham will be the first to be staged at Victoria Park, with a further six matches confirmed for Hartlepool's home stadium before the end of the season.
Gateshead chairman Graham Wood said: "In what has turned out to be the season from hell, Hartlepool have been very helpful and understanding regarding the predicament we have found ourselves in.
"It's great to have a neighbour so willing to help. It's a tremendous gesture on their part and one that we really appreciate.
"They could not have been more accommodating. Everyone we spoke to at the club wanted to help us as much as they could.
"I have been very impressed with Hartlepool during our negotiations and we will now be able to stage at least seven of our remaining home games at their well appointed Victoria Park stadium.
"The pitch is very good, which will suit us, and there should be a good atmosphere - it will be a bonus to play a home game on a ground without a track around it.
"While it is disappointing not to be able to play at the International Stadium, it will be an enjoyable experience playing at Victoria Park and one we are looking forward to."
The remaining games confirmed for Victoria Park are: Braintree Town (March 2), Hereford United (March 19), Grimsby Town (March 26), Southport (March 30), Nuneaton Town (April 9) and Stockport County (April 16).
Gateshead will also attempt to move their scheduled matches with Newport County and Hyde to Hartlepool, although the arrangements for those games are still to be confirmed.
Pools chief executive Russ Green said: "We received a call from Gateshead explaining the situation with their pitch and were asked if we could help in any way.
"Fortunately, were in a position where we can offer some assistance and were more than happy to be able to help out a fellow North-East club.
"Obviously, it will entail quite a lot of work on the part of staff at Hartlepool United, but we hope that by offering this help we can alleviate Gateshead's problem.
"Although they won't be playing at home, we hope that we can make Gateshead and their supporters feel at home during their games here and that they can enjoy some good results at Victoria Park."