With the Vanarama National League North now very much within FC Halifax Town’s focus, The Shaymen faithful must be looking at the fixture against AFC Telford United with keen optimism. The prospect of jumping into the play-off positions is certainly a mouther watering one.
However just like any every football game, there are the home fans and the away fans. This week we spoke to AFC Telford fan Richard Worton. A local who is heavily involved with the club, writing for their programme and providing match day commentary.
As previously mentioned, the fans of Halifax will be going into this game full of confidence, expecting to get their patchy league form back and track. Telford will be going to MBi Shay Stadium as firm underdogs, but that doesn’t stop Worton from keeping a quiet sense of optimism.
“I’d be lying if I said I was full of confidence, but I’m rarely if ever not optimistic, because football is like that, the unexpected happens. We have a generally sturdy defence, but are coming off the back of a chastening defeat. Similarly, how you respond to going out of the FA cup will be interesting.”
The defeat that was spoken about refers to harrowing 4-0 defeat at the hands of Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Trophy. A competition Halifax know very well. If Telford are still feeling a little weak then this may be the perfect time to play them, or if they are keen to bounce back it could also be the worst.
If the away team will be hoping to capitalise on any doubts in the Halifax team due to their FA Cup exit, Worton has highlighted one player to look out for. Football League stalwart Jon-Paul Kissock has joined the club on loan from Ebbsfleet United and added a spark of creativity to their midfield. The 27-year old already has a wealth of experience despite his relatively young age, being on the books at clubs such as Everton and Macclesfield Town, as well as representing England are different youth levels. However, Worton was also keen to highlight one more loanee within the Telford ranks.
“Elliot Hodge, on loan from Lincoln City. Had a really positive debut at Harrogate two weeks ago, and again gives us something we’ve been missing, he’s a natural wide player who likes to take his full-back on.”
Hodge will certainly be a threat for the full-backs, pressuring the likes of Josh Wilde and Cliff Moyo to commit to challenges. The wide players will certainly need to be on top form heading into this fixture.
Naturally we also asked Worton who he thought would be the biggest danger to his side, with Halifax possessing several attacking options and firm favourites, there may well have been a plethora for him to choose from.
“I imagine the mist commonly given answer to this question is Tom Denton. We kept him quite well contained in the fixture in September, but you certainly aren’t a one-man team. As former players tend to come back to haunt us I’d say Richard Peniket, he scored a superb goal and the New Buck’s Head.”
For those fans who don’t remember, the fixture in September ended 2-1 to The Shaymen with Peniket scoring a wonderful curling effort into the top corner from some distance. Winning the game for his current club, against his former.
Hopefully for Billy Heath’s men Telford will be travelling up north only to lose this fixture, but from fan to fan we thank Worton for his answers and hope Telford all the best for the season ahead.
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