FC Halifax Town travel to the Recreation Ground on Saturday 25th January to face Aldershot Town looking for a second away victory of the campaign, and the first in 2014. The hosts are unbeaten in their last two and will be buoyed by a 3-1 victory at Barnet in midweek. They lie two points outside the relegation zone whilst The Shaymen are short of the play-off places by the same amount.
Neil Aspin’s side are unbeaten in their last two games, taking two points from matches at Wrexham and a home tie against Cambridge United last weekend. Town’s troubles on the road are no secret with only one victory this season, however they have suffered only one defeat in their last four matches on their travels. As well as the point at The Racecourse Ground, a win at Dartford and a point at Gateshead soften the blow of a defeat at the hands of Tamworth three weeks ago.
Brett Williams is the league’s top goalscorer, one ahead of Lee Gregory with 16 goals for The Shots this season. The former Reading man has eight goals in his last eight games including a hat trick against Southport and brace against Tamworth. Twelve of his season’s league tally have come at The Recreation Ground so he will certainly present a threat for Messrs Ainge and Roberts at the back.
Down the years
In the 55 meetings between the two clubs The Shots have the better record having won on 21 occasions compared to The Shaymen’s 17, whilst 17 matches have also been drawn. The first ever clash between the two ended in a 3-3 draw back in 1963, and the most recent previous season the two have met was the 2007/08 Blue Square Premier campaign. Jonny Dixon’s last minute winner gave Aldershot a 1-0 win in the first meeting which was followed up by a 0-0 draw at The Shay in April.
Played for both:
Jon Challinor (2014- present)
Michael Clarke (1964-67) The defender scored just once in 51 appearances at The Shay.
Terry Shanahan (1971-74) Striker Shanahan netted 23 goals in 96 games for The Shaymen.
Adam Smith (2013-present)
Jim Smith (1965-68) Smith made 114 appearances in just three years at the club, scoring seven times.
Charlie Wallace (1966-72) Wallace made a whopping 201 appearances for the club, scoring 16 times.
The two sides last met earlier this season back in November at The Shay where FC Halifax ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. Lee Gregory opened the scoring after latching onto a long Marc Roberts throw-in before for Shots man Adam Smith crashed in a left footed effort from the edge of the area to double the lead. Scott McManus capped off a wonderfully crafted Shaymen move for the third before half time and then Roberts headed home a Josh Wilson free kick late on to seal the points.
Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistant Referee: Jim Paterson
Assistant Referee: Andrew Parker
Fourth Official: Maurice Taylor
Aldershot are the favourites to take the spoils against FC Halifax Town at The Recreation Town on Saturday.
They are priced at evens whilst a win for The Shaymen can be backed at 23/10. For the match to be drawn the odds are 12/5.
All the markets are available on the Sky Bet website
(All odds are correct at time of publishing.)
Follow the game
There will be live and kick by kick audio commentary of the game on Shaymen Player.
Match updates will also be available on the official site as well as the club’s official Twitter feed. (https://twitter.com/FCHTOnline)
Listen to the pre match show on Shaymen Player which will also have extended match highlights from the game, as well as all the reaction from Neil Aspin and the rest of the camp.
FC Halifax Town set about travelling down south for their league clash against Aldershot Town on Saturday, ever present midfielder Matt Pearson is confident that the side can return with all three points and win their second away win of the season.
Collecting single points from both established sides Wrexham and Cambridge has left Pearson optimistic ahead of Saturday’s game in Hampshire: “Cambridge are one of the best teams in our league. It shows as they are up there. To get the draw just shows that we can compete against anyone in this league. We have a small, tight squad and need to stick together to go down there and get the win.
“We just need to keep our little run going, as in playing well and to try and stay unbeaten. We need to try and get another win away from home, that is what we need. We can’t get too carried away, a clean sheet and a win away from home would be perfect.”
Unlike the Shots, Halifax will have not played in a week, whereas Saturday’s hosts beat Barnet 3-1 on Tuesday night. The rest has come at a good time for Neil Aspin’s men, and Pearson has relished the opportunity to take a well deserved break.
“We had a few knocks from the Cambridge game, so we needed to rest. Over the Christmas period we had a lot of games, and we had quite a few tired legs. We like playing one game a week as it gives us time to rest and to prepare for the game on the weekend.”
Halifax will challenge the game without a natural left-back, as Scott McManus is ruled out with suspension, after being given his marching orders against the U’s having picked up two yellow cards. Captain Danny Lowe has started his recovery from his injury but is unlikely to make his return this weekend. Although this slight predicament, Pearson remains positive that whoever slots in will do a great job.
“We won’t have a recognised left-back so the manager will have to make the decision regarding who is going to play in that position. Macca (McManus) is a very good player and a player who we will miss, but we can’t change it now. We have just got to keep our heads down, and I’m sure that whoever plays there will play well.”
Similarly to the Shaymen, Aldershot are currently on their own unbeaten run, having not lost any of their last three games. The results include their victory against the Bees and a 3-0 demolition against Guiseley in the FA Trophy. However, although the last meeting between the two sides finished with a 4-0 win for Halifax, Pearson does not think the result will be the same this time round.
“Like us they are on a run, but we beat them last time. However, we could underestimate them after beating them at home. I hope that we don’t. We’ll go down there and we will do the business and will get the result and get the three points.
“They are three games unbeaten, they will want their games to come quickly to continue their good run. Hopefully, we can put a stop to that and get the result.”
He added: “I think that the game will be difficult. With our away form, we need to have our head on it and put in a good performance to win the game. I think that we need to get it out of our heads now and to not underestimate them after the 4-0 win that we had at home. We need to be focused and get the job done.”
Since the 2-0 defeat at the hands of Tamworth, Aspin’s side have picked up two points and hold the credentials to build yet another impressive unbeaten record. However, Halifax have not won any of their last four games, but this does not worry the England C international.
“We haven’t won, but we have still been picking up the odd points. It is vital to pick up points from the likes of Cambridge. Having drew against Cambridge and Wrexham, I think that it has been a plus for us. Yeah, we do need to get a win soon, but there is no hurry to do so as long as we are still picking up points.”
New recruits Marlon Jackson and Craig Clay both made their home debuts in the 1-1 draw against Cambridge. The players have welcomed them both with open arms, and Pearson believes they are great additions to the squad.
“They are young like me, and in training I have seen them fully committed and wanting to work hard, which we all do. We need people who want to work hard and they have shown exactly that.”
The Recreation ground will host Saturday’s game, with kick-off at 3pm.
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