With the Emirates FA Cup on the horizon, this weekend sees FC Halifax Town compete in an historic second round fixture away at Eastleigh FC on Sunday afternoon.
This will be the first ever time that the Shaymen have played a second round fixture since the club’s formation, and Town will be geared up to potentially cause another upset after emphatically beating Dagenham and Redbridge 2-1 in the first round replay.
Vanarama National League side Eastleigh will be familiar opponents to Billy Heath’s men as the two sides met as recently as last season when the Shaymen were battling to avoid relegation.
In April of this year, The Spitfires made the trip to the MBi Shay Stadium with the hope of securing a place in the play-offs. However, the Shaymen were the more dominant side as chances for Shaquille McDonald and Richard Peniket could have sealed the victory for Town.
The second half saw the best of the chances as Josh Macdonald produced a pinpoint cross to find Peniket at the back post. Instead of shooting, Peniket laid it off to McDonald who was arriving in the middle but he just could not control the ball to get the shot away.
Moments later and Peniket was involved again. He picked the ball up outside the box and fired in a low cross in front of the goal mouth. All it needed as a touch but the arriving strikers were inches away from allowing Halifax to take a step closer to National League Safety.
Eastleigh did have their chances though, as Matt Tubbs thought he had put his side in the lead in the dying moments of the game. However, he raced into the box to meet a low cross only to put the ball wide of the post, leaving the result at a 0-0 stalemate.
Earlier in the season, the Shaymen made the trip to the Silverlake Stadium having lost their previous three matches. Although the Shaymen were the better side with Kingsley James and Sam Walker causing threats early on.
The hard working Shaymen got their reward soon after as Jordan Burrow found Walker on the edge of the Eastleigh box. Walker saw his low strike easily saved by ‘keeper Ross Flitney before man of the match James pounced to put the Shaymen in the lead going into half time.
However, the tables turned after the break as Eastleigh came out of the blocks fast to equalise within two minutes. Andy Drury found himself in acres of space in the box, giving him plenty of time to compose himself before firing the home side level.
Former Town ‘keeper Matt Glennon did well to keep his side in the game, making two impressive saves following shots from James Constable and Matty Famino. However, in the end it was not to be for the Shaymen.
Quick on the counter attack after Nicky Wroe saw his effort blocked, Yemi Odubade delivered an inch perfect cross to find Josh Payne at the back post who could not miss. The 2-1 loss meant that Town succumbed to a fourth straight defeat, leaving them at the foot of the table.
If you cannot make it to the game at the Silverlake Stadium then there will be live match updates and commentary available on the Shaymen Wall and Shaymen Player HD respectively.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist