After a stalemate against Stockport County was followed by the postponement to Tuesday night’s scheduled fixture at Alfreton Town, FC Halifax Town now prepare to visit bottom-placed Altrincham on Saturday afternoon. Confidence is high amongst the squad at present, with last weekend’s clean sheet following on from a tremendous comeback against Salford City and a 6-2 away demolition of fellow promotion-challengers Tamworth. Billy Heath’s Shaymen will be looking to get straight back to winning ways against an Alty side really struggling for points.
This season’s reverse fixture between Halifax and Altrincham resulted in a 2-2 draw at The Shay, back in August. James Lawrie’s low drive from 20 yards opened the scoring for the visitors, before Tom Denton equalised with a close-range header from Cliff Moyo’s cross. Jake Moult regained the lead for Altrincham with a powerful penalty, before Jordan Sinnott’s excellent strike late on put Halifax back on level terms.
The Shaymenand Altrincham also met in March of this year, where by the end of the season, Altrincham were four points below the Shaymen. Both sides may have slipped down a division, but will be looking to make it a quick visit and instantly bounce straight back to the National League.
The first meeting between the two sides in last year’s campaign was on October 6th, three days after the painful 7-1 defeat to eventual champions Cheltenham. However, the fortunes turned for the midweek game as former manager Darren Kelly secured his first three points as Town manager in a 3-1 victory.
Jordan Burrow scored his first of two in the 22nd minute, heading in Kevin Roberts’ cross, but soon after the break Damien Reeves headed home an equaliser. The third header of the game came from Burrow again with half an hour left to play, and the win was secured in the 95th minute, when Kingsley James converted from the penalty spot.
At the end of that game, Halifax were in 22nd place, two points adrift of safety. By the time, March came around, Town had the chance to climb out of the dreaded drop zone with nine games remaining, which they did thanks to Connor Hughes.
His second half goal was enough to separate the two sides and to give the Shaymen the double over the Robins. The game had nearly started with Altrincham on course to victory, with Jake Hibbs doing well to clear Josh Ginnelly’s strike off the line. The visitors also had a chance to score in stoppage time, but Reeves fired his golden chance wide.
Despite James Bolton seeing red after a bad challenge Reeves, the result was still an important one in terms of the Shaymen’s survival.
However, survival wasn’t to be for both sides. Whilst Halifax are still in hot pursuit of the playoffs, Altrincham need to make up serious ground very quickly to give themselves any chance of a second successive relegation. Saturday promises to be a good game, one which the Shaymen will certainly be hoping for three important points from.
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