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Harrogate Town: Preview

Posted: Sun 16 Apr 2017
Author: Ben Armitage

The Shaymen travel to Harrogate Town with the view of taking one step closer to confirming their place in the Vanarama National League North play-offs.

Despite dominating for large parts against AFC Fylde on Good Friday, Town just could not find a way into the game. In the end, it was the league’s top scorer Danny Rowe who sealed the win for the visitors with his 43rd goal of the season, making the automatic spot now mathematically out of reach for the Shaymen

Now though, the Shaymen will need to replicate that performance if they are to get back to winning ways on Easter Monday, against a Harrogate side that has recorded some rather poor form of late.

Current Form

The Sulphurites, currently sat in mid-table, have seen a mixed bag in terms of their last five games, their most recent win coming a month ago against high-flying Chorley.

Since then, they have recorded three losses and a draw, seeing sharp downturn in form. The draw against Salford being the most positive compared to defeats against Kidderminster and Telford.

For the Shaymen, it is a different story. Before this weekend’s defeat to Fylde, Town had not lost since the defeat to Gloucester a month ago. Billy Heath’s side have since recorded four wins in six games, an impressive run which surely will help them to earn the three points at the CNG Stadium.

FC Halifax Town: WWDWL

Harrogate Town: WLLDL

Key Man

As with every game, there will be one man that Heath’s side will have to keep an eye on. For Harrogate, that man is Simon Ainge. The former Shayman joined the Sulphurites last May and has since made a massive impact in a rather unexpected area.

The defender has netted 20 times so far, this season, a figure that any striker would be happy with. He is currently one goal away from a joint second place in the league’s top-scorer’s charts, not bad for a defender.

This coupled with his defensive ability will surely be the main threat to Town, and he could be the turning point if the game comes down to just the one goal margin. 

Last Meeting

Both the Shaymen and the Sulphurites have already met twice this season, the most recent coming in the form of an Emirates FA Cup tie. The fourth qualifying round clash between the two Yorkshire sides did not see a goal until deep into the second half, despite what was an exciting game of football.

It was Jordan Sinnott who opened the scoring after his left footed strike took a deflection to stun Harrogate ‘keeper Peter Crook. However, the best was saved until last. Jake Hibbs, now on loan at Bradford Park Avenue, took advantage of a helpless Crook far away from his goal line.

As Crook tried everything to see his side grab a late equaliser, Hibbs picked up the ball on the halfway line and tried his luck with a long shot. For the travelling Shaymen, the ripple of net was a magnificent moment as they booked their place in the First-Round Proper of the competition, thanks to that fantastic strike.

Match Officials

Referee: Matthew Dicicco

Assistants: David Fitzpatrick and Derric Wade

Follow the Game

As always, both the Shaymen Wall and the club’s official Twitter feed (@FCHTOnline) will have live text updates from the CNG Stadium.

Shaymen Player HD will provide live audio commentary from the game, along with post-match reaction from Heath and the team after the final whistle,

Tickets

Please note this game is all ticket for FC Halifax Town fans, the deadline has now passed and you will not be able to purchase any more tickets for the game on Easter Monday. Please do not travel without a ticket.