Returnee and on-loan defender James Bolton is confident that FC Halifax Town can push on from their victory against Salisbury City to earn their second away win of the season at Chester, whilst in the hope of keeping the unexpected Play-Off dream alive.
The Deva Stadium will host Thursday’s Skrill Premier League clash against The Blues in front of the BT Sport cameras, and Bolton believes that it is vital for Halifax to put on a spectacular show to help build a run of form heading into the final stretch of the season.
“We have to try and get the win if we can. We got a really good result in the last game against Salisbury, so I think that it is important that we get a decent result,” he said.
“Whenever you win, it always takes confidence going into the next game. Just be yourself and confident. As a team, you just feel a lot better when going into the game.
“If we can get the next couple of wins, then we can really push for promotion. Other teams around us have got games in hand, but all that we can do is just get the results and keep pushing on.”
Chester have failed to get any points from their last three games and find themselves in the relegation zone on level points with Southport and Tamworth.
Home advantage is something that has defined Halifax’s season so far, for the right and wrong reasons, but Steve Burr’s side have only won twice at the Exacta Stadium. Regardless of the statistics, Bolton is aware that the hosts will be looking to maximise playing in Cheshire with local support.
“I think that it does make a big difference, home advantage is quite big. They have recently got a new manager so their players will be looking to get the win, I would imagine.”
The last time these two met in the league, Neil Aspin’s side left the Shay with three valuable points after winning the encounter 2-1. On that day, former Shaymen, Gareth Seddon, notched the only goal for Chester, and will be a dangerous threat again on Thursday.
The 33-year-old heads into the game in good form, having recently scored against Bolton’s parent club, Macclesfield, in their 3-2 defeat. The former Bury striker has five league goals to his name this season, and Bolton is looking forward to the opportunity of reuniting once again.
“It will be good, I knew him from when I was here last. It is always good to see players that you know and who you get on with.”
After returning to Halifax on loan from the Silkmen, Bolton made his second debut against Salisbury as a substitute after replacing Jon Challinor in the second half.
Apart from conceding Jamie White’s consolation, the game could not have gone any better for the defender, who has recently returned from injury.
“I think it went okay to be fair. It was good to get time under my belt. Obviously I weren’t playing at Macclesfield, so it was good to just get back on the pitch.
“I haven’t played in around 4 or 5 weeks at Macclesfield, and it does take time. There is a big difference between normal fitness and match fitness, and hopefully, whilst I am here at Halifax, I can get a few more minutes under my belt.”
With Challinor settled in the right-back position, alongside the possible return of both Ryan Toulson and Danny Lowe, after all of the defensive worries, Aspin is starting to have yet another headache panned out when selecting his back four. This is something that Bolton is aware of, and does not expect to be named in the starting squad.
“I am not expecting to play all of the games, or make the starting eleven. It is up to Neil (Aspin) really. If I am doing okay, then that is fine. They have been at the club longer than me, so they should be ahead of me.
“I Just want to get some more minutes under my belt. If I play, hopefully I can help get some wins for the team.”
With recent mid-week games in the Conference, Halifax have been pegged back to 8th place in the league table, but are still only 2 points away from the Play-Offs. Other teams around Aspin’s side have games in hand, but Bolton is optimistic that the Shaymen should only focus on themselves in the hope that points are lost by the other teams.
“I think that we can only look at what we can do. We have played more games, but we have just got to try and win as many as we can and not worry so much about what other teams are doing. If we can just keep on winning, then we will put pressure on the other teams around us.”
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