Following FC Halifax Town’s disappointing 1-0 loss to Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold, attention now turns to Tuesday night as Chorley FC make the trip over the Pennines for the latest round of Vanarama National League North fixtures.
The Shaymen faithful will be keen to end their recent winless run which stretches back to the middle of November, although Chorley will be a tough nut to crack according to one of their fans.
Ian Livesey has been a part of Chorley FM’s MagpiesLive team since March 2015, and has been providing match commentary for the Magpies faithful for almost six years during his broadcasting career. A regular traveller home and away, Livesey is delighted with Chorley’s unexpected high league position.
“It’s fair to say we’ve been overachieving as we don’t have the strongest wage budget in the league. No one gave us a look in at the start of the season but I think that’s changed now.”
“What we do have is an enormous team spirit that is carrying us through the season. With that comes wins in matches that might otherwise prove very tight as our league record shows.”
With every team that enjoys a god run of form over a season, attention can quickly turn to progressing up the footballing pyramid. In Chorley’s case, this is no different as Livesey believes his beloved team can challenge for play-off promotion to the National League North.
“I honestly feel AFC Fylde will go on to win the league this season, they have the ability and the structure set up in the right way that previous champions have had. That said, I do believe we can be contenders for the playoffs this season. Both sets of fans know about the playoffs.”
The Magpies have seen some fine form in the opening half of this season having only lost three times in the league so far. For Livesey, both the defence and midfield have been impressive, although there is one man in particular that has stood out.
“Chorley’s stand out players of this season has to be the heart of midfield. Jake Cottrell has been with the club for some time now and never gives less than 100% in each game.”
“Our defensive players have been outstanding too, keeping the most clean sheets than anyone else in the league and conceding the least amount of goals in what is almost a water tight back line.”
On the flip side, Livesey has been doing his research on the Shaymen as he prepares for Tuesday’s encounter, and has outlined two players who he feels will cause Chorley problems.
“Looking at Halifax’s past results I can see they’re struggling to win games at the moment. So they’re definitely overdue a win, and hoping that doesn’t come Tuesday night for obvious reasons!”
“Tom Denton is the obvious danger man. It seems every time he’s played against Chorley he’s scored, so it will be an achievement in itself if he is kept quiet in the game. Liam King also is a tough player to play against. He can pull the strings in midfield and send killer balls through from what I’ve seen.”
With that said, it was only natural to ask Livesey for his predictions in what could be a close encounter at the MBi Shay Stadium.
“I’m always a firm believer of aiming for draws away from home. This game is no different but looking from the outside in, I can see Town fans getting a little frustrated with the team and who can blame them?”
“Halifax has always had passionate fans each time we’ve played them. So I would say a 1-1 draw would be a good return from the game. Obviously a Chorley win would be better!”
Billy Heath’s side are yearning for the full three points, although a 1-1 draw in a thrilling game would surely be much appreciated for both sets of fans.
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