In just a few days’ time, the English Football League and Non-League fixtures kick off once again in a season that, for FC Halifax Town fans, promises to be much more of a celebration in comparison to the heartbreak that last season provided.
This Saturday’s trip to Nuneaton Town will be the first league game since the Shaymen were relegated back to the National League North at the hands of Macclesfield Town, where a 1-1 draw at the Shay proved to not be enough for Town’s survival hopes.
The 2016/17 season, however, brings more optimism back to the club with manager Billy Heath hoping that his debut season in charge can bring back National League status for the Shaymen.
First up, a trip down the M1 for Heath’s men to Liberty Way, the home of Nuneaton Town.
The two teams last met 17 months ago towards the back end of the then 2014/15 Conference Premier season. At the end of which, Nuneaton Town were relegated to the newly named National League North where they have played their football ever since. That season the Shaymen finished in ninth place, 13 points behind Forest Green in the final play-off place.
The meeting between the two on the 28th of March was to be the Shaymen’s final win of the season. Two goals from on-loan forward Jack Muldoon sealed a 2-1 victory in front of a 947 strong crowd down in Warwickshire, a great day out for the travelling Shaymen!
This fixture also ensured that Town managed to do the double over their Warwickshire opponents after a 2-0 victory at the Shay back in December of 2014.
Nuneaton were forced down to 10 men just after the hour mark as midfielder James Armson received a straight red following a challenge on Scott McManus. The Shaymen were quick to capitalise on this through James Bolton’s opener on the 74th minute which was then doubled on the 90th by midfielder Lois Maynard who now plays his football at Tranmere Rovers.
This left Town within a point of a place in the play-off’s just before the Christmas period, a gap that had significantly widened by the end of the season.
However, with all that firmly back in the past, both teams will be hoping for a similar success in this year’s campaign. Town’s hosts this weekend were unlucky last season, missing out on a play-off spot by one point whilst Town will be hoping for a speedy return back to the National league with the Shaymen being 9/2 favourites for the title.
With all this in mind, it’s shaping up to be an interesting clash this weekend with both teams hoping to get their campaigns up and running with an early victory to set them on course for success. Let’s hope that the three points will be returning to the Shay on Saturday night!
Remember, if you are not travelling down to the game there will be live match updates from Liberty Way along post-match interviews with Heath and the lads available on the Town website and Shaymen Player HD.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist