First Team News
First Team

Football Conference Preview

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Mon 14 Apr 2014
Posted in First Team

After a weekend of brilliant football, FC Halifax Town are all set to get right back into action when they face a game Grimsby side away at Blundell Park come Tuesday night. That playoff clash isn’t the only match though, there are a host of very important games that could, ultimately, be the key to Town’s playoff hopes.

Tuesday 15th April 2014
Grimsby v Halifax – The first and most important of the four Tuesday night match-ups sees Halifax Town travel to Grimsby’s Blundell Park, and travel they will, armed with untouchable confidence. Said confidence might be down to the fact that the Shaymen have gone over nine and a half hours without conceding, or it could be the fact that they sit top of the form table, or the fact that they have just come away from the Hive with not only a fantastic result but their most impressive away performance since the team reformed. Meanwhile, Grimsby have been quietly picking up points with narrow wins, but points are points and they currently sit just two places above Town in third place on 73 points. Of course both teams are looking to build on their fantastic positions in the table and a win would certainly go some way to enhance either team’s playoff hope.

Braintree v Gateshead – Another tantalising match-up for Town fans is the Braintree v Gateshead game that also takes place at 19:45 on Tuesday. Braintree are coming off an amazing win against table toppers Luton Town, whom they beat 3-2 in the early Saturday kick-off, despite only having ten men on the pitch for the majority of the 90 minutes. If there was a team in the league that comes close to the Shaymen in terms of form, it has to be Gateshead, who have been grinding out win after win over the last few games. With teams directly above and below Town going head-to-head there can be a lot of debate about the perfect result in this one but as long as Town focus on their own game, any result would be okay.

Kidderminster v Cambridge – Kidderminster will be looking to snap the four game win streak of The U’s when Cambridge United travel up to the Harrier’s Aggborough home on Tuesday. Kidderminster have, at least thus far, been quite disappointing in the Conference Premier but the team that finished second place in last year’s campaign will be hoping to get back-to-back wins when they face the hotly fancied Cambridge team.

Macclesfield v Forest Green – Tuesday’s final Conference fixture will see Forest Green Rovers make the trip to Macclesfield. Both teams have just one win in their last five games and will be looking to get back to winning ways on the final stretch of the season. It is a rare occurrence these days where you get a mid-table game that bares little significance to either end of the table, but that is exactly what this game is.

Friday 18th April 2014
‘The Shot’s will host a Salisbury team who carry with them two wins, two draws and two losses into the 3pm Friday game. Aldershot are desperately battling to survive as they teeter on the edge of the drop zone, safe only courtesy of a positive goal difference. In another huge game for the Halifax faithful to keep an eye out for is Alfreton v Grimsby. Hopefully Grimsby will be coming into the game off the back of a loss (against Halifax of course) but they will certainly have another sturdy test ahead of them in the form of Alfreton, who have, recently been off the boil. Alfreton will be hoping to attempt one last playoff surge, and to do so, they will have to beat strong playoff contenders, Grimsby.

Dartford will travel to Braintree for yet another 3pm Friday kick-off. The Essex outfit (The Brains) will expect to win against relegation strugglers ‘The Darts’ but the latter have certainly been playing well recently, with three wins in six, even notching one up on Halifax’s playoff rivals and next opponents Grimsby. Town fans will no doubt be switching between Dartford and Southport shirts come Friday afternoon. Southport could do the Shaymen a big favour in beating Gateshead when they travel up north on Friday. Southport have relegations ugly face staring them in the eye and will hopefully throw the proverbial kitchen sink at Gateshead to avoid the embrace of the drop zone.

The final three fixtures of Friday will see Hyde host Kidderminster as ‘The Tigers’ attempt to overcome the embarrassing 7-2 defeat to Cambridge this past weekend. Cambridge will be counting the miles as they will have travelled to Hyde, Kidderminster and Lincoln City all within six days. Lincoln will look to take advantage of this as they aim to make it two wins in as many games in the final 3pm Friday kick-off. Friday’s final game will see freshly relegated Tamworth vie for a last bit dignity as they attempt to get their first win in ten games at home against ‘The Bulls’ Hereford at 19:45 on Friday night.

Saturday 19th April 2014

We have a treat to kick-off the feast of games on Saturday. The starter sees Chester host local rivals Wrexham in the battle of the border, the battle of England v Wales and importantly for the English outfit, a battle of survival. ‘The Seals’ are sat just above the drop zone but were on fire in the reverse fixture, where they extinguished any threat ‘The Dragons’ could muster en route to an impressive 2-0 win. Wrexham would no doubt take great pleasure in both exacting revenge and halting Chester’s survival hopes. Kicking off just half an hour later at 12:30pm, Welling play Luton as the latter hope to finally secure the Skrill Conference Premier crown.

After a couple of consecutive away games, FC Halifax Town are finally back at fortress Shay, where they clash with Macclesfield. A win would be crucial to Town’s playoff hopes and, at home, there is no doubt Neil Aspin will play another extremely attacking team just one week on from his 49th birthday. Woking then travel to Forest Green in the second 3pm Conference kick-off and the last game of the weekend will see Barnet travel to Nuneaton as they aim to recover from the hangover left by the glittering Shaymen performance.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist