While play-off semi-finals are often cagey, pressurised affairs, if Town’s previous encounters with the Ammies are anything to go by, we’re set for 180 minutes of end-to-end action.
Kevin Roberts composed 92nd minute cushioned volley salvaged the Shaymen a point in a 2-2 draw at Moor Lane in September.
The game was brought to life following a slow start as captain Roberts whipped free-kick was nodded in by Scott Garner off the far post, a sign of the consistency that boss Billy Heath feels allowed Garner to sweep up at Town’s end of season awards.
Roberts remained involved throughout, both conceding a penalty and putting into his own net to hand Salford the lead before his late redemption came in front of the visiting Halifax contingent.
With Town fans again set to cross the Pennines for an evening kick-off, they will be hoping former-Shayman Sam Walker does not continue to enjoy his glut of form against his old club. Walker has showed how deadly he is from the spot, scoring from 12-yards in both of just two previous meetings.
Salford, who will turn professional from next season, tasted defeat in their only visit to The Shay in their history this January.
A sensational second-half turn around saw Heath’s Men come out 4-2 victors following a two-goal deficit at the interval. Now at promotion rivals Kidderminster, Daniel Nti scored his only goal for Halifax in a five-game loan spell to push Town back into the play-off picture.
Signed from York the day before, Nti got the first of four Town goals inside 20 minutes in front of the South Stand. Half-time substitute Liam King then equalised almost instantaneously heading in from Roberts’ cross.
Roberts was involved yet again winning the penalty for Matty Kosylo to give Halifax the lead, before Adam Morgan’s third goal in two games sealed a win for the Shaymen, which formed part of an eight-match unbeaten run.
While manager Heath feels his squad is as strong as ever going into the season-defining double-header with Salford, it seems likely that his captain Roberts will inevitably be involved in goal-mouth action at some point.
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