2012/13 season review

Only nine players were retained from the previous season for The Shaymen, with several high-profile signings joining the club such as former Huddersfield captain Jon Worthington and ex-Wigan man Jason Jarrett. Halifax were the bookies favourites to win the title going into the new Conference North season.

However, Town failed to find consistency in the early stages of the season, finding themselves five points behind top spot in September, losing to Colwyn Bay in the process. The FA Cup saw Halifax bow out in the fourth qualifying round to Conference Premier side Lincoln City 2-0 at the Shay in the replay after a goalless draw at Sincil Bank. The FA Trophy saw Town reach the quarter-finals, eventually being knocked out by Dartford 3-2 in a replay.

Due to the cup runs, as well as poor weather and drainage system at the Shay, Halifax experienced several game postponements in the league, including a game against Stalybridge Celtic that had to be moved to Rochdale’s Spotland stadium. By the start of February, Town found themselves 41 points behind league leaders Chester with 10 games in hand.

The Shaymen were forced to play 12 games in 27 days in the month of April due to all the postponements, with many fans fearing the congested fixtures would cause the players to tire and miss out on the play-offs. Town won just two of these games, however still made it into the play-offs fairly comfortably in the end, finishing the season in 5th place.

The play-off semi-final saw Town face local rivals Guiseley, who had finished second in the league. The first leg at the Shay saw the sides play out a 1-1 draw, leaving the tie finely poised going into the second leg at Nethermoor. Despite being the underdogs, Halifax managed to pull off an impressive 2-0 win against the side that had finished 16 points above them in the league. This set up a tie against Brackley in the final.

The match was closely fought and was won in the 75th minute by Lee Gregory to send Town back to the Conference Premier for the first time in five years following their demotion. The season wasn’t over however, as two days later they faced Guiseley again, this time in the West Riding County Cup final at Valley Parade. The Shaymen won 1-0 in extra-time thanks to a Gareth Seddon goal to claim their second trophy in the space of three days.

Players: Matt Glennon, Phil Senior, Tom Morgan, Ryan Toulson, Scott McManus, Danny Lowe, Marc Roberts, Simon Alnge, Chris Smith, James Bolton, Jon Challinor, Matty Pearson, Adam Smith, Jon Worthington, John McReady, Paul Marshall, Lois Maynard, Jake Hibbs, Ryan Crowther, Lee Gregory, Josh Wilson, Kevin Holsgrove, Dominic Marie, Marlon Jackson, Scott Spencer