On Saturday FC Halifax Town take a short break from the Vanarama National League North, travelling to Ashton Athletic as Town’s 2016/17 Emirates FA Cup campaign kicks off at Brocstedes Park.
For the home side, this fixture will be a special one as it is the first time in the club’s history that they have reached the second qualifying round of the tournament. The Yellows’ first round tie was a big statement, emphatically beating Mossley 7-2 thanks to a hat-trick from Adam Gilchrist.
As for Halifax, the last three seasons have been the most successful in terms of FA Cup runs since the reformation of the club, reaching the first round with all three ties being played against Football League teams.
Last season, Town began their FA Cup campaign at home to Guiseley where a 2-2 draw set up a replay at Nethermoor. The replay almost struggled to provide a winner as Sam Walker’s opener was cancelled out by Adam Boyes, setting up an extra-time finish.
It took Town a while but they finally managed to seal the win, James Bolton with a deflected 30 yard effort past former Guiseley man Steven Drench meant that Town would play a home tie against Wycombe Wanderers in the first round.
Sadly, there was to be no upset from the Shaymen as the League 2 side cruised to a 4-0 victory at the MBi Shay. Goals from Garry Thompson, Sido Jombati, Max Kretzschmar and Aaron Amadi-Holloway meant that Town were forced to concentrate on their league campaign.
In the previous year, Town travelled to current National North opponents Chorley for the fourth qualifying round. It was a similar story to the 2015/16 season as a goalless draw meant that a home replay was in order.
Town made no mistake of seeing off their opponents. Goals from Scott Boden, Adam Smith and two from Richard Peniket set up a West Yorkshire derby for the first round tie, Bradford City being the visitors to the Shay.
Halifax went 1-0 up inside three minutes thanks to Lois Maynard’s close range effort. However, League One outfit Bradford demonstrated their quality in the second half as Jon Stead and Filipe Morais sealed the tie in front of an 8000 strong crowd at the Shay.
That year, Bradford went on to reach the Quarter-Final of the competition, defeating the likes of Millwall, Sunderland and even Chelsea, earning them the title of “FA Cup Giant Killers” for that season.
The final year we look at is 2013/14 where the Shaymen started their FA Cup campaign away at Nuneaton Town, another current National League North outfit.
The Shaymen travelled down to Liberty Way towards the back end of October and ran out comfortable 2-0 victors in Warwickshire, with goals courtesy of Lee Gregory and Scott McManus.
The First Round tie took place in early November as Town travelled to MK Dons’, Stadium MK. Izale McLeod opened the scoring late in the first half as The Dons went into half-time 1-0 up.
Things went from bad to worse as the Shaymen conceded two goals in 17 minutes. A Shaun Williams penalty doubled the lead before McLeod made it three, taking his tally to two for the game.
Former Town striker Lee Gregory pulled one back as the Shaymen looked to get back into the game. However, it was just a mere consolation as Brendan Galloway, currently on loan at Premier League side West Brom, ended the tie as a 4-1 home victory in the final minute of the game.
List of FC Halifax Town’s FA Cup runs (Not Exhaustive):
2008/09: 2nd qualifying round (Lost 1–4 to Nantwich Town)
2009/10: 4th qualifying round (Lost 0–1 to Wrexham)
2010/11: 4th qualifying round (Lost 0–1 to Mansfield Town)
2011/12: 1st round (Lost 0–4 to Charlton Athletic)
2012/13: 4th qualifying round (Lost replay 0–2 to Lincoln City)
2013/14: 1st round (Lost 1–4 to MK Dons)
2014/15: 1st round (Lost 1–2 to Bradford City)
2015/16: 1st round (Lost 0–4 to Wycombe Wanderers)
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist