FC HALIFAX TOWN head to Matlock Town for the second time this season on Saturday, this time competitively as the Shaymen begin their defence of the F.A. Trophy.
In pre-season, Billy Heath’s side saw goals by Jordan Burrow and Josh MacDonald cancelled out by a late Ryan King strike to level the game at 2-2.
As Saturday fast approaches we take a look at the only two times FC Halifax Town have met Matlock in competitive fixtures, both during the 2010-11 Northern Premier League Premier Division winning season.
The Shaymen only needed a win in 2011 when the Gladiators were welcomed to Yorkshire to become league champions but the visitors made sure that the champagne stayed on ice for a week longer.
Jamie Vardy’s cross took a few deflections on its way to Lee Gregory’s boot and into the back of the Matlock net to give the league leaders an early lead.
The celebrations were short lived when Matlock’s then talisman Ross Hannah calmly converted from the spot in front of a noisy South Stand.
In a similar style, Halifax found themselves in the lead again before half time. Yet again in was the searing pace of Vardy in the channels that game him room to pick out a late arriving Gregory to send the ball home with a little more confidence this time. The league win was now imminent.
Despite the Shaymen’s dominance they failed to double their advantage and were eventually punished in the 88th minute when Town legend Tom Baker was adjudged to have fouled in the area and Matlock made it a 100% conversion rate from the spot.
Earlier on in the season, Halifax beat Matlock in their first ever meeting. Dean again was on hand to scored twice in the 2-1 victory.
Dean’s opener was the pick of the bunch, when he rounded two defenders and skipped the goalkeeper to tap into an empty net after just a quarter of an hour.
Vardy was notorious in this campaign for both his goals and his work rate off the ball and it was this that gave Dean his second and winning goal of the game, this time a tap in from close range that would have been harder to miss.
The win made it 10 on the bounce for Neil Aspin’s men and gave Halifax their 30th point in 59 days. In the season’s early days Halifax were already as good as safe from relegation and running away at the top of the league.
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