On Saturday, FA Cup football returns to The MBi Shay Stadium as the draw has seen a familiar opponent returning to Halifax for the second time in a month.
Stalybridge Celtic once again make the short trip down the M62 after overcoming Evo-Stik side Witton Albion. It took the National League North side two attempts after a draw at Wincham Park, although ‘Bridge ran out 2-1 winners in the replay at Bower Fold.
Meanwhile, the Shaymen cruised to victory away at Ashton Athletic, with goals from Denton, Hone, Sinnott, Simmons and Peniket securing a 5-0 win for Town to earn a home tie against ‘Bridge.
The all National North tie brings some history with it as the two sides have seen a number of players feature for both teams over the years.
The first player we look at is Gareth Davies, who represented both clubs just under ten years ago.
Davies broke his foot whilst playing for Chesterfield in 2007 which ruled him out of playing for over six weeks. Once he had recovered, Davies was loaned out to Stalybridge for a month in September 2007. This was designed to help him return to fitness for his parent club.
He made five appearances during his month loan spell with ‘Bridge before returning to Chesterfield with full fitness. However, Davies was released by Chesterfield during the January 2008 transfer window.
He subsequently joined York City on trial before becoming a Shayman. Davies made eleven appearances for Town during his short spell at the club, scoring one goal in the process. He left Town at the end of the 2007/08 season before signing for Gainsborough Trinity.
Davies now plays his football for Handsworth Parramore in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division.
Another player that represented both sides is Simon Garner who joined Stalybridge in June 2007. Garner made 38 appearances with Stalybridge where he lasted for only one season until he joined Fleetwood in summer 2008.
However, his time with Fleetwood was short lived as he was released by mutual consent in September of the same year, making just three appearances. Shortly after, Garner joined FC United where he spent two seasons.
The Shaymen signed Garner at the conclusion of the 2009/10 season where he also spent two years of his career. He was part of the squad that won promotion to the Conference North in 2011 before eventually signing for Chorley FC a year later.
After hanging up his boots in 2013, Garner went on to make his managerial debut at Clitheroe FC. Having spent just under 3 years in charge, he left Clitheroe at the end of last season.
Finally, the next person we look at represented one side as a player and the other as a manager. Irishman Darren Kelly joined Stalybridge after being released from NIFL Premiership outfit Portadown in January 2011.
However, Kelly’s time with Stalybridge lasted less than a month making no appearances for the Conference North side. Kelly went on to play for Garforth Town and Frickley Athletic before retiring at Scarborough Athletic in 2015.
His managerial career started almost immediately as he took over Oldham Athletic in May 2015. However, his spell as Oldham boss did not last long as he was dismissed just nine games into the season. He returned to management in October of the same year with the Shaymen.
Although, Kelly’s time in charge of Town was disappointing to say the least, with his first game ending as a 7-1 home defeat to Cheltenham Town. After a run of further disappointing results, Kelly left his position just over a month later as Jim Harvey took over the role.
After leaving Town, Kelly took over Hyde United in March 2016 in the hope that he could save them from relegation. He left at the end of the season having failed to achieve this target but was re-appointed just two weeks later.
There will be live updates of Saturday afternoon’s clash at the Shay along with player and manager interviews available on the club website and Shaymen Player HD respectively.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist