FC Halifax Town will take on Cambridge United in the Skrill Conference Premier first leg of their semi-final in front of the BT Sport cameras, with a place at Wembley on the line over the course of the tie.
Cambridge have beaten Halifax 5-1 and the teams played out a 1-1 draw in January, but as the old cliché goes, the play-offs are a lottery.
Josh Wilson was stretchered off in the closing stages of the Kidderminster Harriers game, and looks set to miss out on both legs, but aside from that, manager Neil Aspin figures to have a full squad to choose from. James Bolton has recovered from illness and will stake a claim for a starting spot, and Dominic Marie came off the bench to make his debut in front of his home fans on the final day.
The teams are in the midst of two very different runs of form. Halifax went on an incredible unbeaten run that was only stopped at the hands of Southport, and Cambridge lost their last four consecutive games of the season as they suffered from goalkeeping problems.
Midfielder and top scorer Luke Berry visited a specialist after feeling decidedly poor in recent weeks, and Delano Sam-Yorke will also be a doubt for the U’s visit to The Shay. The mantle falls to Adam Smith, the Leicester City youngster drafted in to replace their injured goalkeeping contingent, as he plays in the second competitive fixture of his career. There’s been some controversy surrounding the young stopper’s acquisition, and his confidence will have been dented by conceding twice on debut to Gateshead.
Played for both:
David Adekola, Simon Ainge, Phil Bolland, Peter Butler, Jon Challinor, Chris Clarke, Mike Ferguson, John Francis, Peter Graham, Steve Guinan, Mike Heathcote, Jonathan Hedge, Ronny Hildersley, Tommy Horsfall, Neil Horwood, Scott Houghton, Paul Kent, Andy Lee, Dave Lennard, Craig Middleton, Adriano Moke, Jamie Murphy, Mick Norbury, Steve Richards, Dave Smith, Justin Walker & Paul Wilson.
Down the years/Last Meeting:
Over the course of history, dating all the way back to 1973/4 and the old Third Division, Halifax have come out on top six times (five in the league), and the teams have drawn eight (eight). The visitors have won 11 (11). Last time out, the two played out a 1-1 draw, with Matt Glennon on top form, pulling off some incredible saves. Tom Elliot opened the scoring before Lee Gregory equalised, and Scott McManus was sent off for two bookable offences.
Simon Bennett will take charge of the game on Wednesday, and has taken charge of 13 games this season, showing 31 yellows and 1 red card.
Follow the game:
Shaymen Player will host live kick-by-kick coverage, as well as full match highlights and interviews from Neil Aspin and some other members of the camp.
There will be updates via the Shaymen Wall, and via Twitter (@FCHTOnline).
The game is also live on BT Sport.
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