2013/14 season review

The new season began with manager Neil Aspin signing a new two-year contract which would keep him at the club until 2015. Matty Pearson was permanently signed after his release from Rochdale, with Guiseley top scorer Josh Wilson also joining up with The Shaymen.

The season got off to the worst possible start for Town, with the opening fixture seeing them lose 5-1 to promotion contenders Cambridge after being reduced to 9 men. The first win came just two days later against Wrexham, sparking a strong run of form which saw them climb into the play-offs in September.

However, it became clear as the season wore on that Halifax were very strong at home but were poor on the road, with the first win away coming in mid-December against Dartford, just one week after losing the first and only home league game of the season against Woking. Town still found themselves just in the play-offs in January but having played more games than the teams around them.

Town’s poor away form continued to let them down, and the illusive second away win didn’t come until March when they ran out winners at Hyde United. A win against Tamworth at The Shay the previous week sparked an incredible run for The Shaymen, going on a 10-match unbeaten run which included ninw wins. During that time Town recorded seven consecutive clean sheets which was one game off equalling the Conference Premier record.

The unbelievable run saw Town go from mid-table obscurity to fifth in the league and in the play-offs, a feat that almost no one expected following promotion the previous year. It also meant that Town finished as the highest part-time side in the league and therefore country, with The Shaymen being one step off professional status.

Town came up against Cambridge in the play-off semi-final, winning the home leg 1-0 with a goal from club legend Lee Gregory, marking his 32nd goal of the season in all competitions. With only a draw needed to reach Wembley, The Shaymen travelled to the Abbey Stadium in high hopes for the second leg of the tie. They were defeated 2-0 though, and the dream of back-to-back promotions that would have seen them claim football league status wasn’t to be.

Players: Matt Gelnnon, Phil Senior, Tom Morgan, Tom Anderson, Matty Pearson, Marc Roberts, Simon Alnge, Chris Smith, Scott McManus, Danny Lowe, James Bolton, Ryan Toulson, Simon Lenighan, Lois Maynard, Keith Briggs, Craig Clay, Jon Worthington, Sean Williams, Archie Love, Sam Patterson, Paul Marshall, Reece Gray, Dan Gardner, John McReady, Jon Challinor, Jordan Ball, Dominic Marie, Kevin Holsgrove, Ryan Crowther, Adam Smith, Josh Wilson, Scott Spencer, Joe Ironside, Marlon Jackson, Marcus Carver, Alex Johnson, Lee Gregory, Dale Johnson