2018/19 season review
FC Halifax Town began the 2018/19 campaign in fantastic style. Impressive victories against Braintree, Barrow and Maidstone saw the club win their opening three league matches. An away defeat to newly promoted Salford City was a setback, but another victory this time against Dagenham and Redbridge saw the Shay men win four of their opening five matches. Despite this impressive start, the club would only win one of their next 13 league matches which saw early hopes of a potential promotion fade away. However during this run they managed to knock out Warrington Town in a replay following a 2-2 draw away from home. This result put Town into the first round of the FA Cup, where they would face league two outfit Morecambe at the Globe Arena. A hard earned draw was achieved by The Shaymen as they forced Morecambe into a replay at the Shay stadium. Cameron King’s strike in the first half was enough for them to see off their league opponents as they qualified for the second round of the competition. Wimbledon were ultimately too strong for The Shaymen as they eventually ran out 3-1 winners under the lights.
In the match before the Morecambe replay, a 1-0 win at home to Dover Athletic thanks to Matty Kosylo ended an 11 match winless run in the competition stretching back to August. An excellent 2-1 away victory to Harrogate Town lifted the spirits of the Yorkshire club as a late winner from Dayle Southwell earned a come from behind victory at Wetherby Road. Having already drawn 7 games up to the Harrogate match, their next three league games all ended in stalemates including the reverse fixture against Harrogate and 0-0 draw at home to bottom club Braintree. Following a 2-1 victory at Barrow in December in the first round of the FA Trophy, they faced high flying Solihull Moors at the start of January as they aimed to progress into the third round of the competition. A pulsating 2-2 draw at the Shay Stadium including a late equaliser from Kosylo, forced a replay against the Moors. However, The Shaymen fell to a 1-0 defeat in the second match as they exited the competition.
2019 continued to bring good performances for Town, a 0-0 draw against a high flying Salford City side kept The Shaymen’s record against the top sides in the league. Jamie Fullarton’s team would finish the season only losing two games out of 14 against the final top seven placed teams. Scott Quigley scored his first goal for The Shaymen since arriving in January in a 1-0 win over Maidstone, which elevated the club away from the bottom four.
March soon came around, and with play-off positions and relegation scraps starting to take shape, Town would still play a role in what would happen in both ends of the table. To outsiders looking into the club a 0-1 away win at Eastleigh reignited form of The Shaymen. Town carried on that form to a 3-0 win over Barnet, Shaymen fans saw home debut goals for Manny Duku and Devante Rodney. Towards the end of the month Town would put a massive dent in Solihull Moors’ title hopes as they brushed them aside 2-0 at The Shay.
Heading into the final month of the season Jamie Fullarton’s men showed no sign of being on their holidays early. A trip to face eventual league winners Leyton Orient, saw potentially the performance of the season from The Shaymen. Devante Rodney scored the goal of the season in a 2-2 draw at Brisbane Road. The final two matches saw Halifax win both against promotion contenders Wrexham and Fylde, as the Yorkshire club ended the season just as they started. In the end, Town matched their 16th placed finish of last season but picked up four more points this time around.
Players: Sam Johnson, Michael Duckworth, Ryan Sellers, Nathan Clarke, Matty Brown, Josh Staunton, Matty Kosylo, Cameron King, Dayle Southwell, Jonathan Edwards, Sanmi Odelusi, Ben Tomlinson, James Berrett, Jordan Preston, Shaun Rowley, Niall Maher, Ryan Gondoh, Manny Duku, Devante Rodney, Scott Quigley, Joe Skarz, Jacob Hanson, Harry Freedman, James Ferry, Simon Lenighan, Mekhi Mcleod