Daniel Briggs takes a look back at FC Halifax Town’s five most recent meetings against Cambridge United.
11/08/13 – Cambridge 5-1 Halifax
Halifax last faced Cambridge on the opening weekend of the present campaign.
Selection for BT Sport coverage saw the fixture moved to the Sunday, meaning they had to wait a little longer to get their season underway.
There was a real feeling of excitement and anticipation amongst Halifax supporters ahead of the match at the R Costings Abbey Stadium, and a positive vibe after winning promotion back to the Conference in May.
It was also to be a landmark occasion – being the club’s first game at this level since its reformation in 2008.
Neil Aspin’s side made a dream start, taking the lead after just seven minutes through talismanic striker, Lee Gregory.
Unfortunately, that was as good as it got.
Five minutes later came a game-changing moment, as Danny Lowe was dismissed for a foul in the box and Adam Cunnington converted the subsequent spot-kick.
Halifax’s day continued to sour and midway through the half, goalkeeper Matt Glennon was dismissed for a similar indiscretion.
Substitute stopper Tom Morgan denied Cunnington a second goal with a fine save, but in truth, the damage had already been done.
Although the score remained at 1-1, the Shaymen were now tasked with playing 69 minutes with just nine men.
Inevitably, the home side made their numerical supremacy tell.
Ryan Donaldson broke Halifax’s brave resistance before half-time, Delano Sam-Yorke made it 3-1 shortly after the resumption, and further goals from Cunnington and Sam-Yorke completed the rout.
Halifax’s dream day had turned into a nightmare.
16/02/08 – Halifax 1-2 Cambridge
Cambridge last visited this part of West Yorkshire back on 16th February 2008.
Despite falling behind to Simon Heslop’s 15th minute goal and playing the final half an hour with ten men, the U’s were triumphant, prevailing by a 2-1 scoreline.
Defeat was hard to take for Halifax, who were on the losing side at home for only the second time that season.
Their afternoon started well with Tom Kearney supplying Heslop to coolly slot into the bottom corner, to put the hosts a goal to the good.
But Cambridge hit back, as Mark Beesley struck a spectacular 25-yard effort low into the corner and Lee McEvilly fired home from close range.
Cambridge were reduced to ten men when Mark Peters was shown red for a foul on Craig Nelthorpe, but despite their man disadvantage, the visitors held on.
06/10/07 – Cambridge 2-2 Halifax
The spoils were shared earlier in the 2007-08 season as Cortez Belle struck an equaliser seven minutes from time to earn 10-man Halifax a point in an exciting 2-2 draw at the Abbey Stadium.
Jon Shaw gave Chris Wilder’s side the lead from the penalty spot after 18 minutes, before Marvin Robinson levelled proceedings six minutes later.
Shaw went from hero to villain on the stroke of half-time as he was dismissed for violent conduct after a foul on Michael Morrison.
Red cards have been a common theme in recent Halifax – Cambridge matches – four have been brandished in the last three meetings.
Rob Wolleaston put the home side ahead after the break, leaving Halifax staring down the barrel of yet another defeat to the U’s.
But the Shaymen refused to throw in the towel and rescued a valuable point when Belle found the net from 12 yards.
07/04/07 – Halifax 1-0 Cambridge
The last time Halifax won against Cambridge was in early April of the 2006-07 campaign. And what a crucial win it was too.
Both sides were in serious relegation trouble heading into the match. Halifax were 22nd in the division, on 43 points, inside the relegation zone. Cambridge, meanwhile, were 19th on 46 points, two places above the dotted line.
Victory for Neil Aspin’s men was essential.
On 32 minutes came the game’s decisive moment, as Steve Torpey converted to put Halifax ahead.
The visitors had chances and could rightly feel aggrieved not to have scored; Robbie Simpson missed a glorious chance when he headed wide from six yards, and Dan Gleeson also went close.
1-0 was how it finished and Halifax had the most important of wins.
Such was its significance, the Shaymen leap-frogged Cambridge into 19th, while the U’s slumped a place further towards the relegation places, into 20th.
27/08/06 – Cambridge 1-2 Halifax
The Abbey Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Halifax, with eight of 12 visits to Cambridgeshire ending in defeat.
Only two have been won, one of which during August of the 2006-07 campaign.
A welcome win was Halifax’s first of the season, after picking up just one point from their previous three outings.
Mark Roberts’ powerful header from Martin Foster’s peach of a cross gave the visitors a deserved lead inside a quarter of an hour.
Foster was again the creator as Halifax doubled their lead midway through the second half, Adam Quinn heading home from six yards.
The Shaymen were good value for their two-goal lead but Tommy Jaszczun’s stinging 25-yard drive ensured a nervy finish.
Halifax withstood a late barrage from the hosts to seal a 2-1 success.
OVERALL HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
Total Meetings – 24
Halifax wins – 5
Cambridge wins – 11
Draws – 7
Halifax wins – 4
Cambridge wins – 3
Draws – 5
Halifax wins – 2
Cambridge wins – 8
Draws – 2
BIGGEST WINS: (Shaymen scorers in brackets)
13/11/04 – Halifax 3-1 Cambridge – FA Cup (Martin Foster, Craig Midgley, Neil Ross)
11/08/13 – Cambridge 5-1 Halifax (Lee Gregory)
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