Following a bright start to their busy week of fixtures, FC Halifax Town now have a quick turnaround for their third home game in a row.
Two wins against promotion-chasing Boreham Wood and Sutton United have given the Shaymen a 100% record from their first two outings this week, with Gateshead FC the visitors on Thursday night as Jamie Fullarton’s side look to keep up these impressive standards.
In this section, we look at a selection of the previous matches between the two sides over the years, starting with the return fixture earlier this campaign.
The August bank holiday weekend saw the Shaymen travel to the North East to face Neil Aspin’s Gateshead outfit, with both sides having to share the spoils. It was the Shaymen who started the brightest in the first half thanks to the likes of Adam Morgan and Matty Kosylo.
Both men managed to hit the woodwork, first through Kosylo’s stunning 30-yard effort before an impressive Morgan free-kick struck the underside of the bar as Town looked to take the lead early on.
The home side managed to go close to breaking the deadlock themselves through Jordan Burrow. The former Town man forced an excellent save out of Sam Johnson to keep the Shaymen on level terms as the game wore on.
Despite the strong start, the second half brought with it some challenges for Billy Heath’s side. Town were reduced to ten men after Kosylo’s second bookable offence, leaving a nervy 25 minutes still to play at the Gateshead International Stadium.
However, Town did manage to hold on to claim a decent point on the road, continuing their good start to life back in the Vanarama National League.
Prior to this campaign, the two sides last met in the league just two seasons ago where the MBi Shay Stadium played host to the first fixture between them. Under the stewardship of caretaker manager Gareth McClelland, Town were set with a tough task up against a high-flying Gateshead side.
However, the script was not necessarily followed early on, as it was the home side who had the better of the chances. Hamza Bencherif missed a glorious chance just seconds into the first half before Burrow’s penalty struck the crossbar, a real let off for the visitors.
Despite this, it was the Heed who opened the scoring around the half hour mark with Jon Shaw heading past Matt Glennon to make it 1-0 going into half time. However, it took Town just eight second half minutes to find a leveller.
After a bright re-start, the home side drew level thanks to Sam Walker’s corner finding the head of James Bolton in the box. A 1-1 draw was a welcomed result for the Shaymen, but the return leg was to be even better for the boys in blue.
A couple of months later Town travelled North to face the Heed once again, where they put in an outstanding performance to earn a more than comfortable victory. This time around, it was the Shaymen who took the lead thanks to a Martin Smith own goal.
The home side managed to level from the spot through Ryan Bowman fifteen minutes later, which resulted in Russell Griffiths receiving his marching orders. At this point, it looked as if we were heading for a stalemate going into half time.
However, Kingsley James slotted home to put the Shaymen back in the ascendency just two minutes later, before Shaun Tuton gave Town a two-goal cushion by the break. A quieter second period for the ten men of Town saw Tuton grab a second with ten minutes remaining.
Tuton’s goal rounded off what was an impressive afternoon for the Shaymen, one which was the start of a ten-game unbeaten run in the National League.
If you cannot make it to the game against Gateshead, then there will be live match updates along with commentary available on the club website.
Read more posts by Ben Armitage