Match Preview: FC Halifax Town v County
County have the opportunity this weekend, for a few hours at least, to move into top three of the National League as we travel to play-off chasing Halifax Town hoping to make it a lucky 13 games unbeaten.
Tuesday night’s convincing 4-0 victory at King’s Lynn Town saw us move to within two points of Hartlepool United, who weren’t in action, and with the Monkey Hangers playing Chesterfield in this weekend’s late kick-off another away victory for County would see us temporarily climb above them in the league table.
Wins elsewhere for Sutton and Torquay meant the gap to the top of the table remains five points. Both sides are in action at home this weekend, with Torquay hosting Eastleigh and Sutton welcoming Aldershot to Gander Green Lane.
Tuesday night also saw Halifax in action, as a Jack Hyde goal 15 minutes from time secured them a crucial 1-0 victory at home to Woking, to further strengthen their grip on the play-off places and keeping them six points behind County in fifth.
Since we last met:
Much has changed since these two sides last met at Edgeley Park back in October in what was just the second game of the season, as goals from Mark Kitching and a late Adam Thomas screamer saw us come from behind to earn a first three points of the season.
Adam Thomas’ only goal so far this season was one to remember – a stunner at the Cheadle End to seal a first win of the new season against Halifax.
That defeat for the Shaymen was the start of a difficult run for them at the start of the new campaign, as they embarked on an eight game winless run that saw them hovering precariously above the relegation zone nine games in.
It was an underwhelming start to the season for a side who finished sixth in the 2019/20 season, losing to Boreham Wood in the quarter-finals, but things suddenly started clicking into place in December when Pete Wild’s side scored five times in successive games against Barnet and Weymouth.
The form of striker Jack Hyde, signed in the summer from Woking, was key to that turnaround, chipping in with four goals in three games, whilst the goals of Nyal Bell on loan from Edgeley Park also provided them with a much needed boost at the time.
They’ve continued to rack up impressive results since then to climb back up the National League table, winning away at Torquay, Bromley, Notts County and Chesterfield, whilst also taking points off Sutton at The Shay.
Following his goal against King’s Lynn on Tuesday night, Paddy Madden now has five goals and three assists in eleven games for County.
Dotted amongst those crucial victories however have been frustrating defeats to the likes of Maidenhead and Barnet, and more recently they were taken apart 4-0 at home to an out of form Wrexham.
Ultimately though, over the last 15 games in the National League Halifax sit second in the National League form table, behind only County, with both sides picking up 32 points over that period.
Whilst the man to watch up front is undoubtedly Hyde with his ten league goals so far this season, Halifax’s dangerman is usually 22-year-old midfielder Jack Earing, who has enjoyed an outstanding season to date – chipping in with eight goals, including three in his last five. The former Bolton Wanderers man has missed the last three games with a hamstring problem, but could be in line to make his return this weekend.
- County are unbeaten in their last nine games against FC Halifax Town (including the previous Halifax Town). In 102 previous meetings between the two clubs, County come out with the historical advantage, winning 48 to Halifax’s 31.
- After Tuesday night’s 4-0 win at King’s Lynn Town, County now have the best away record in the National League with 36 points from 19 games. We are also the top scorers on our travels with 36 goals.
- Our last victory at The Shay came on the final day of the 1989/90 season thanks to goals from Chris Beaumont and Ian McInerney – our three trips there since that day have all ended 0-0.