Ahead of FC Halifax Town’s clash away to Warrington Town in the 4th Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, we look back at the new club’s previous FA Cup runs.
Following the formation of the new club, FC Halifax Town were placed in the Northern Premier League Division One North meaning they would enter the FA Cup in the preliminary round that gave them an away fixture to Silsden. Despite mixed league results in August, Town drew 0-0 before emphatically winning the replay 3-0 at the Shay. A 4-0 win away at Ryton would be the Shaymen’s last win in the FA Cup as they crashed out 4-1 to Nantwich Town who were in the league above Halifax.
Town’s second season of existence was far more successful in the league as they topped the Northern League Division One North, finishing with 100 points and 108 goals scored. Halifax also bettered the previous campaigns run in the FA Cup as they beat Brandon United, Norton and Stockton Ancients, Droylsden, and Burscough. The run was ended when Halifax faced National League outfit Wrexham. A close fought game ended with a 1-0 defeat to the Shaymen as they faced one of the toughest tests of that season.
Once again, Halifax had a very successful season in the league finishing top of the Northern Premier League Premier Division with 98 points and they recorded 108 goals for a second consecutive season. Having gone up a division, the club would now enter the competition at the First Qualifying Round where they faced Whitby Town and they recorded a 2-0 win. A win at league rivals Ashton United before a big win at manager Neil Aspin’s former club, Harrogate Town, was as far as Halifax would go that season. They exited the competition at the hands of Mansfield Town who won 1-0 in the 4th Qualifying Round.
Having been promoted to the National League North, Halifax entered the FA Cup in the 2nd Qualifying Round which drew them against Tadcaster Albion at the Shay. A game that saw the Shaymen come out 2-1 winners against the team. In the third qualifying round, a tie against promotion rivals from the 2009-10 season Lancaster City proved too easy for the Shaymen as they won 3-0 at the Giant Axe stadium. For the first time since reforming as FC Halifax Town, there would be progress beyond the 4th Qualifying Round as they travelled away to Solihull Moors, coming away with a 1-0 win. Town were drawn at home to League One leaders Charlton Athletic and it was to be shown live on ITV 1. In front 4601 fans, the Shaymen gave a good account of themselves, however, a red card for Danny Lowe and three late goals after one in the first half meant Charlton came away with a 4-0 win.
Despite more league success for the Shaymen, it was to be more disappointing in the FA Cup as despite success in the 2nd Qualifying Round against Abbey Hey and a 3-1 win following a replay against eventual National League North winners Chester in next round. Town were again knocked out in the 4th Qualifying Round, this time to Lincoln City. Despite a credible 0-0 draw away at Sincil Bank, Town were unfortunate to lose against the National League team.
Having climbed back to the National League, Town would now enter the FA Cup at the 4th Qualifying Round and their first fixture in the cup was away to Nuneaton. Town were victorious that day as they assertively won 2-0. A First Round proper tie away at League One side MK Dons was set up. Like most away fixtures that season, it ended in defeat to the Shaymen as a 78th minute goal from striker Lee Gregory wasn’t enough as the Dons dominated to win 4-1 against the side two divisions beneath them. Despite this defeat Town could still consider this season a success as they finished in the bottom play-off spot despite being promoted the season before.
The FA Cup started with a bit of a stutter this season as an away trip to National League North side Chorley finished in a 0-0 draw. However, a replay at the Shay three days later saw Halifax come out 5-0 winners. This is thanks to two goals from Richard Peniket and Adam Smith, with Scott Boden netting another. Chorley also had to play 71 minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of former Shayman James Dean. Town went on to play League One side Bradford City in front a new club record attendance of 8042 fans. Lois Maynard put Town 1-0 up, however goals from Jon Stead and Filipe Morais in the 50th and 53rd minute, meant once again, Town failed to get through to the Second Round of the FA Cup.
This season was the worst season for the new club as they tasted relegation for the first times. With Neil Aspin being sacked after six successful years, only to be replaced by Darren Kelly who joined after a poor spell at Oldham Athletic. With only 2 wins in the league, a good FA Cup run was needed to raise moral around the club and things were looking bright when James Bolton fired in the winner in extra time of the replay against Guiseley. A first round tie against League Two side Wycombe Wanderers was booked. However, like most of Kelly’s results, a humiliating loss ensued as Town lost 4-0 to the team in the league above and it took only one more loss for Kelly to be sacked and replaced by assistant Jim Harvey.
Having been relegated in the last game of the previous season, Halifax would once again enter the FA Cup at the Second Qualifying Round where they faced Ashton Athletic with goals from Tom Denton, Danny Hone, Jordan Sinnott, Alex Simmons, and Peniket gave Town a very comfortable 5-0 win. Going into the 3rd Qualifying Round and Halifax were very much the in-form team and managed a 2-1 at home against Stalybridge Celtic. The next round threw up league rivals Harrogate Town as the contenders but a halfway line goal from Jake Hibbs ensured Halifax went through to the First Round. Having been drawn away at strong National League side Dagenham and Redbridge it was impressive when they came away from Victoria Lane with a 0-0 but thanks to goals from Denton and Matty Kosylo, Halifax progressed through to the Second Round for the first time in the new club’s history. However, having hit a rough patch of form it looked unlikely that Halifax would progress as they were drawn away to Eastleigh and having been 3-2 up with only minutes to go, it was disappointing when a replay was required. Eastleigh’s strength showed through as they dispatched Town 2-0.
With promotion back to the National League having been secured at the first time of asking, it was to be a very different story in the FA Cup as Halifax were drawn at home to league favourites Tranmere Rovers. The difference in quality showed through as one of the favourites for promotion dispatched the Shaymen 3-1. An early goal from Connor Jennings was a sign of things to come as Adam Morgan had a penalty for the Shaymen saved. The only consolation for Town that day was an own goal from centre back Steve Mcnulty who could only blast the ball into his own net after a low cross from Ben Tomlinson. Just before the second half Tranmere had restore the lead thanks to James Norwood and a second half goal from Halifax born left back Liam Ridehalgh.
In this seasons FA Cup, Halifax travel to Warrington Town on Saturday hoping to get into the 1st Round once again. The last time Halifax faced Warrington Town was in the 2009-10 season. At home Halifax won 4-1 in the second game of the season, and away Halifax won 3-1 in front of 505 fans on a Tuesday in March.
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