FC Halifax Town welcome Gainsborough Trinity to the Mbi ShayStadium on Tuesday evening with Billy Heath’s side involved in one of the tightest play-off battles the league has ever seen.
Ahead of the clash, here are 10 things you may or may not know about our opponents:
Situated in Lincolnshire, Gainsborough Trinity are the second most easterly team in the National League North, behind Boston United, with who they share a fierce rivalry. The two sides traditionally meet on Boxing Day, as they did this season with the points shared on this occasion.
Their record Football League attendance was 5,600 in a 3-1 victory against Chelsea at Northolme, however many in the ground argued the attendance was far higher.
In a not too different style to former Shayman Jamie Vardy, Gainsborough have had three players climb the ranks to earn England caps. Goalkeeper Ronnie Sewell was at Trinity before moving to Burnley where he would win the 1914 FA Cup, Jackie Morton earned a solidary cap in a 5-4 victory against Czechoslovakia and Fred Spicksley, who would later join Sheffield Wednesday and win seven caps for England, scoring two hat-trick’s against Scotland.
The club was founded by Reverend George Langton Hodgkinson, of the Holy Trinity church, in 1873. The club was initially named Trinity Recreationists and were founding member of the Midland Counties Football League.
After winning the Midland League by an incredible margin in 1891, and then coming second the following season, Gainsborough were promoted to the Football League Second Division where they would momentarily become a professional club. The club held its League status until 1912, when they returned to the Midland Counties League.
Upon their arrival in the Football League Second Division, Gainsborough’s first game was against Newton Heath, a small club in central Manchester that would in time go on to win 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups and 3 European Cups under the name Manchester United.
In 1948, the record attendance for a Midland League was smashed when Gainsborough hosted Scunthorpe in front of over 9,000 people at Trinity’s Northolme Ground (now the Martin & Co. Arena), which was then a cricket pitch.
In the late forties, the main stand at Northolme was burnt to the ground and work on the stand that you see today began.
As for the Town of Gainsborough itself, the Battle of Gainsborough took pace on the 28th July 1643 as part of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell led his troops to victory against King Charles I, just east of the Town that we see today. The battle would play a vital part in the War which would see Charles I trailed and Executed.
Gainsborough has a rich Royal history, and the people of the town helped to erect a magnificent water tower in the late 19th century to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. The tower can be seen in the Cox’s Hill area of Gainsborough.