This Saturday sees a meeting on Tameside between two National League sides who have both reached the second round of the FA Cup this week, one win away from potential Premier League opposition. We are back to league action for a clash between the Shaymen and John Flanagan’s Curzon Ashton.
The most recent and arguably the most notable player to have featured for both clubs is midfielder Sam Walker. The dynamic box-to-box player earned himself cult status during his time at Curzon, making over 200 appearances and scoring an impressive 41 goals. Walker skippered his side to playoff success in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier, earning promotion to the National League North two seasons ago. It was from here that the midfielder’s ability did not go unnoticed, brought to the Shay in 2015 to play in the National League. Walker’s impressive footballing CV in non-league earned him regular starting berths for Halifax under Jim Harvey – he scored five goals in a season whereby he was playing a good amount of football at a higher level. He rounded off his time in West Yorkshire with a crucial goal-line clearance in the successful FA Trophy final against Grimsby Town at Wembley, before moving on to Salford City – where he has flourished and become an integral part of the midfield setup.
Another player who has turned out for both sides is another of last season’s Wembley heroes, the man who scored the winner – Scott McManus. Currently out with a long-term injury, McManus – known affectionately as ‘Macca’ by the Shaymen faithful – had a spell with Curzon in 2008 after signing from Prestwich Heys, and his short time on Tameside attracted attention from Crewe Alexandra, with whom he took a successful trial and spent two years before joining FC United, later moving to the Shaymen and becoming a club stalwart over the last five years. McManus has made well over 200 appearances and scored the goal that looked to keep Halifax in the National League before conceding a second half equaliser to Macclesfield Town. The left-sided defender who also operates in midfield will be disappointed he is not yet fit to face his former side but Shaymen fans are excited for his long-awaited return.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist