FC Halifax Town hope to end 2017 the right way as they prepare to take on Dover Athletic this Saturday.
The Shaymen will want to bounce back following their Boxing Day defeat to league leaders Macclesfield Town, which brought to an end their recent resurgence in form.
Before the loss, Billy Heath’s men had won their previous two fixtures against Aldershot Town and Chester FC, without conceding any goals, but goals from Danny Whitehead and Tyrone Marsh ensured a miserable drive back from Cheshire.
Despite the loss, the side produced a good account of themselves, unfortunate to leave the Moss Rose with nothing to show for their efforts.
Halifax will be hoping that the loss does not lead to another barren spell, akin to the one which saw the side not taste victory for 11 league matches.
The team currently sit in 14th position, with an 11 point cushion from the drop zone despite the earlier bad run, making things comfortable at the MBi Shay Stadium.
With 1 win in their last 7 games, the hosts are enduring a blip in form after their brilliant start in the Vanarama National League campaign.
4 draws and losing twice in that period of time has seen The Whites knocked off the pace in their pursuit for promotion.
After spending some time ahead of the pack in the table, they now sit in 5th place, 5 points adrift of The Silkmen in pole position.
The Halifax defence will have to aware of Dover centre forward Ryan Bird, who is currently the league’s joint 2nd highest goalscorer.
The striker has found the back of the net 12 times in 26 appearances for Chris Kinnear’s charges.
During the club’s rough patch however, he has struggled in front of goal, enduring a mini drought where he didn’t hit the target in 6 matches.
He is regaining form now, having scored 3 in his last 3.
Stopping the 30 year old hit man will be key for Halifax, with nobody else in the team coming close for his contribution for the coastal outfit.
Tom Denton once again hit the target against Macclesfield, bringing his tally for the season to 9, the league’s joint 4th highest, on equal footing with the likes of Aldershot’s Shamir Fenelon and Tranmere Rovers’ Andy Cook.
The big number 9 has now scored 4 times in his previous 6 outings.
The last time these two teams met up was during the 2nd game of the season held at the MBi Shay Stadium, in which they left it very late to settle the encounter.
The first goal of the match came in the 87th minute through Mitch Brundle, which the before mentioned Denton ruled out 4 minutes later.
A strike from substitute Tobi Sho-Silva 5 minutes into injury time resulted in the ripping up of many match reports when it appeared that the sides would settle for a point apiece, making the 8 hour journey back to the South coast that little bit more bearable.
Referee: Matthew Donohue
Assistants: Oliver Jackson/Shaun Farrer
Fourth Official: Isaac Searle
Follow the Game
There will be live updates and commentary available on the club website and Shaymen TV.
You can also follow the action via Town’s official Twitter account, @FCHTOnline.
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