FC Halifax Town will spend the Easter weekend on a trip to the seaside, looking to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games under Jamie Fullarton’s stewardship.
AFC Fylde will play host to the Shaymen on Good Friday at Mill Farm, with Town hoping that a victory would all but save them from the Vanarama National League drop-zone. For the home side, a vital three points would see them hot on the heels of the play-off pack.
Over the past two seasons the Coasters have been familiar opponents in both the National League and the National League North, with all three fixtures providing a mouth-watering display over the years.
Earlier in the season, Fylde made the trip to West Yorkshire where an in-form Shaymen side stood in their way. However, after a close first half, frontman Danny Rowe showed his quality to put the visitors in the ascendency.
His chipped effort in the 56th minute managed to beat the onrushing Sam Johnson for the opening goal, but Town responded in perfect fashion. Two minutes after the restart and Town were level once again, as Tom Denton slotted home just before the hour mark.
The Shaymen were not finished there, and neither was Denton. With less than fifteen minutes to go Denton found the net once again to complete the comeback, putting a perfect end to what was a thrilling contest at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Fylde’s afternoon went from bad to worse late on as Matt Blinkhorn was shown a straight red card, just a couple of minutes after replacing Andy Bond. The result marked Town’s third win of the season so far, as Heath’s side went on to make it five wins out of six between mid-August and September.
In the season previous, both the Shaymen and the Coasters battled it out at the top end of the table before the latter eventually forged themselves a comfortable position in first place. The two sides once again first met early in the season, in yet another thrilling contest.
This time, Town managed to take the lead through that man Denton again, who made it 1-0 from close range after a bright start from the travelling side. In similar circumstances to the game from this season, the scores were level again after just two minutes, this time Caspar Hughes making it 1-1.
A scintillating first half performance from both sides brought them confidence going into the second, and the hosts managed to capitalise on that just five minutes after the restart. Star striker Rowe saw his shot deflect off Danny Hone and into the back of the Town net, but the Shaymen were not down and out.
Hone, looking to atone for his previous error, managed to redeem himself later with a scrappy goal following Josh MacDonald’s good work in the wide position. 2-2 it stood, with a winner there for the taking for both Town and their hosts.
However, it was the Coasters who managed to claim all three points. Now a familiar name to Town fans, Bohan Dixon slotted home past Steve Drench to ensure a victory for Fylde. He, of course, went on to sign for Heath’s side last summer, but only managed a handful of appearances before joining Stockport County.
The reverse fixture later in the season also saw Town fall to a defeat against a strong Fylde side. There was still plenty of chances for both sides, with Scott Garner arguably having the best for the Shaymen as his strike from six yards out was well saved by ‘keeper Rhys Taylor.
Once again it was Fylde who were the stronger of the two sides. Rowe continued his staggering goal-scoring season by wrong-footing Johnson in the Town goal as the Coasters took a big step forward to claiming the league title. Not only that, Rowe’s goal was his 44th of the campaign, setting a new record for the National League North.
If you cannot make it to the game against Fylde, then there will be live match commentary available on the club website.
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