Following Saturday’s long trip down to Dover Athletic, FC Halifax Town can now look to welcoming in 2018 at the MBi Shay Stadium, with Macclesfield Town making the first of two trips to West Yorkshire in just over a week.
The Silkmen have had enjoyed a more than positive first half of the season, with manager John Askey guiding them towards a challenge for the automatic promotion spot as they look to ward off the likes of Sutton United, Aldershot Town and Wrexham along the way.
In this section, we look back through the years at the previous meetings between the two sides, and what better place to start than the most recent… around six days ago.
Despite having played Chester FC four days before the game at Moss Rose, the unchanged Shaymen eleven came out to bring the game to the home side, and despite some scares, their hard work paid off early on.
After Danny Clarke won a free kick on the by-line following a corner, Jake Hibbs whipped in an inch perfect ball for Tom Denton, who easily scored what was his second goal in two games to put Town 1-0 up just past the ten-minute mark.
Town then proceeded to create many chances to find a second, although the likes of Denton and Hibbs could not find the crucial touch to double their lead. This proved to be costly as the home side fired warning shots before finding a way back into the game.
On the stroke of half time the Silkmen’s earlier efforts paid off, as Town looked to go into the break in the ascendency. Danny Whitehead’s long-range effort took a deflection to wrong foot Sam Johnson, honours even it was as the referee blew for half time.
The second half saw both sides play out an enthralling contest, with Town looking to cause an upset in search of their third win in a row. Denton once again came close after the restart as his attempt was cleared away off the line.
Town kept the pressure on, but in the end the home side came out the strongest. With just over ten minutes left to play, Tyrone Marsh’s header proved to be enough for the Silkmen to claim a 2-1 victory despite Town’s following efforts to gain at least a point.
Before this season, the last time these two sides met was in the 2015/16 season, where both fixtures fell in the second half of the season. The away leg, played in early January, saw Town extend their unbeaten run to eight games in the league thanks to Shaun Tuton’s second half strike.
That game finished 1-0 to the Shaymen, who went on to make it ten games unbeaten before losing to Forest Green Rovers in February. This was the turning point, with Town losing eight of their final sixteen fixtures which pushed them closer to the danger zone.
It came down to the final game of the season, against Macclesfield, in which a win would have kept Town in the National League. It looked to be heading in a positive direction for Town after Scott McManus put them ahead before half time.
However, Danny Rowe’s second half equaliser turned out to be enough to send the Shaymen to the National League North, who were unlucky not to get the win as Waide Fairhurst’s header agonisingly struck the post deep into injury time.
If you cannot make it to the game on New Year’s Day, then there will be live match updates of the game along with live match commentary.
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