The final game of the 2016-17 season is here for FC Halifax Town and it’s the easily the most important yet. A play-off final tie that could see the Shayman return to the Vanarama National Conference League at the second time of asking. The tie comes against Chorley, the Lancashire club did finish outside of the top 5 but could still clinch promotion due to Darlington being illegible to go up. The final will be held at the MBI Shay Stadium after Matt Jansen’s Chorley side manged to beat league runners up, Kidderminster 2-1 on aggregate.
Halifax and Chorley have already met twice in the league this season, the first being back in January where Halifax, the home team, showed their resilience to stop a losing streak picking up their first win in ten games. On that day, manager Billy Heath opted for a 3-5-2 formation dropping then ever present Tom Denton to try and get his team back to winning ways. The bold tactical move worked for the Halifax manager as Town won 2-1 in a very difficult victory. A goal from Richard Peniket and a penalty converted by Matty Kosylo sealed the points for the Yorkshire side. The Shayman were made to defend their lead as Chorley captain Dale Witham nodded home, 20 minutes from time, as the away side piled on the pressure. Thankfully for everyone at FC Halifax the team managed to hold on and secure their first 3 points for a while.
The second game this season between the two finalists was a lot more recent, the last league game of the season on the 29th of April, where once again Halifax prevailed and came out on top at victory Park. With Halifax already secured in the play-off spots, the pressure was on Chorley to get the three points and keep their own fate in their hands. Unfortunately for Jansen and Chorley, FC Halifax did come out on top again with a 2-0 victory and took that privilege away from the 6th placed side.
However, Chorley did end up in that crucial 6th spot, beat 2nd placed Kidderminster Harriers and set up this play-off final against Halifax. Halifax should be favourites to win going on the previous meetings, winning on both attempts, however the final is a completely different game and could come down to which side wants to be in the National League more
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