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Posted by Ben Armitage
Posted on Sun 1 Apr 2018
Posted in League News

FC Halifax Town return to the MBi Shay Stadium for the first of three home games in eight days, with the Shaymen looking to get back to winning ways.

Jamie Fullarton’s side were defeated for the first time in seven games away at AFC Fylde on Good Friday, in a spell that has brought positivity back in abundance to the side. Now, the game on Easter Monday provides a great chance for Town to immediately bounce back.

In this section, we look at what has been happening in the Vanarama National League over the weekend, starting with the handful of postponements from Good Friday.

One of the big games of the day was the play-off clash between Dover Athletic and Tranmere Rovers, with a win being helpful to both sides. However, heavy rain on the south coast left Dover’s Crabble Ground partially waterlogged, which was quickly deemed unplayable.

Elsewhere on the south coast, Eastleigh’s game against Ebbsfleet United was also heavily affected by the downpours on Thursday night. The decision to call the game off was made around 9am on Friday morning, and has been rescheduled for Tuesday 17th April.

The third and final game to fall foul of the heavy rain was Sutton United’s trip to Maidenhead United, but not before the first 45 minutes could be played. It was a jam-packed first half to say the least, with the home side taking the lead just six minutes in through Harry Pritchard.

The visitors soon equalised thanks to Craig Eastmond, before the Magpies got themselves ahead once again through Jake Hyde. The U’s managed to turn the game on its head, with Simon Walton and Louis John making it 3-2 at the halfway point.

However, the game was abandoned after a half time pitch inspection determined that the standing surface water was too heavy to play on.

From the games that did manage to go ahead, Hartlepool United made it five games unbeaten with a win away at Maidstone United. A Michael Woods brace was just enough to secure the Pools a 2-1 victory, despite a late scare from a Ross Lafayette goal late on.

It is clear to see the impact that Matthew Bates has had on the Pools since his arrival last month, and he has been full of praise for his new players. Speaking in midweek, he said: “Since I have come in they have given me everything and they did again tonight…

“I’ve set the lads a task to see how long we can stay unbeaten for and we want that to continue.”

This latest result against Maidstone has left Hartlepool within touching distance of National League safety, currently sitting one place ahead of the Shaymen on 48 points.

Finally, Barrow boss Ady Pennock has been praising his side’s defensive solidity following their third clean sheet in four games.

Good Friday’s 0-0 draw against Boreham Wood meant that the Bluebirds have only conceded two goals in their last four games, with that coming in a 2-1 defeat to inform Hartlepool.

However, their frontline has been somewhat lacking in their last two outings, but Pennock is confident that they will improve that over the coming games.

“The goals will come, I’m not worried about that. We’ve got more than enough talent at that end of the pitch to match what we’re achieving at the back, there’s no question of it.

“I’m sure we’ve got goals in us, even though it’s back-to-back games without scoring I haven’t got concerns about that part of our game.”

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

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