It’s crunch time for FC Halifax Town as on this Wednesday they make the trip to Moor Lane to take on Salford City in the National League North play-off semifinal first leg. Despite beating Chorley last time out, the Magpies also join the Shaymen and the Ammies in the playoffs, with Kidderminster Harriers taking on Matt Jensen’s men in Wednesday’s other game.
Halifax and Salford finished the season in 3rd and 4th respectively and are both in a fine vein of form, so both sides will be expecting a tough encounter. Halifax’s last game was a 2-0 win over Chorley FC, while Salford thumped Darlington 1883 5-1, with the Quakers dropping down to 5th.
Salford go into this Wednesday night’s game having won their last three league games, with four wins claimed in their last eight. Despite their credible form, the Ammies have only one clean sheet in those eight games, something the Shaymen will look to take advantage of when they travel to Salford’s home.
As for the Shaymen’s recent form, it’s all rosy. Halifax have only lost twice in their last ten, and have only dropped eight points out of a possible thirty. The Shaymen have five cleans sheets from their last six games, three of those coming in the last three games.
The man to keep your eye on for Wednesday night will be a familiar face to Halifax fans – Sam Walker. The former Shaymen scored five goals in 24 appearances last season before departing for the Ammies. The 30-year old midfielder scored from the penalty spot in the first meeting between the two sides this season and has scored six times so far this campaign. Although some way off been the club’s top scorer, a title taken by Mike Phenix with his 16 goals, the creative midfielder could still be a threat to Halifax.
The last two meetings between these sides were both extremely entertaining encounters. The first, at Moor Lane, ended 2-2, Kevin Roberts having a hand (quite literally at one point) in all four goals. Roberts’ freekick met the head of Garner who put the Shaymen ahead before a handball from Roberts meant the hosts could equalise from the spot.
Danny Hone was then sent off before Roberts’ attempted clearance didn’t go how he planned and the right-back scored an embarrassing own goal. Just when you thought Roberts’ would stop making the headlines; he made himself a hero for Halifax, volleying home in the dying minutes to rescue a point.
The second game between Halifax and Salford was another epic. The home side found themselves on the wrong end of the 2-0 scoreline at half-time thanks to goal from Walker and Phenix. A miraculous second half meant Halifax came out 4-2 winners.
Daniel Nti pulled a goal back before King levelled things two minutes later. Kosylo put the Shaymen into the lead via the spot-kick before Morgan settled things, heading into the bottom corner in the 74th minute.
Assistants:Paul Tomes, Kenwyn Hughes
Fourth Official:Declan Bourne
Follow the Game
As always, both the Shaymen Wall and the club’s official Twitter feed (@FCHTOnline) will have live text updates from Moor Lane.
Shaymen Player HD will provide live audio commentary from the game, along with post-match reaction from Heath and the team after the final whistle.
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