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Posted Tue 24 Mar 15

Gateshead: Preview

FC Halifax Town will return to action at The Shay this Tuesday looking to pick up a first victory in seven against Gateshead.

After fighting hard in the 0-0 draw with Altrincham on Saturday, The Shaymen will face off against the side directly below them in the league in hope of reigniting their play-off push.

Current Form

Neil Aspin must scarcely believe his side’s luck in recent games. This run of seven games without victory has seen Town produce some performances well worthy of victory, and the current streak of five consecutive draws has seen the side dominate against sides for long spells. Last Saturday saw Bristol Rovers scramble back from two goals down to steal a draw from The Shay, whilst the midweek point against Barnet saw Town once again run a promotion favourite extremely close. The draw with Altrincham at Moss Lane this past Saturday was also a game Town will feel aggrieved not to have turned into victory, going close on a series of occasions.

For Gateshead, who currently sit in 9th place in the Vanarama Conference, they come into the game following a long and ultimately disappointing trip to Dover saw them fall to a 1-0 defeat. Still in with a chance at reaching the play-off spots, Gateshead will prove yet another tough test for Halifax, with a victory potentially putting either side just three points from fifth place.

FC Halifax Town: DDDDDL

Gateshead: LWWDLW

Key Man

One man that Town’s defence will need to keep at bay is Gateshead forward, Michael Rankine. The much travelled 30 year old, currently at his 13th club, has struck goals in Gateshead two previous wins, though he has been no regular on the scoresheet prior to that though. His timely return to goalscoring form could be vital for the Tyneside club if they are to continue their late push for a play-off spot.

Previous Meeting

Halifax last faced off against Gateshead back on Boxing Day, when the points were shared in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Lois Maynard opened the scoring inside ten minutes as he tapped home, before veteran John Oster levelled proceedings after converting a cross. Maynard fired Town back into the lead with his sixth goal in six games, but the scoring ended after James Bolton committed a foul in the box, which Danny Wright tucked home.

Match Officials

Referee: Wayne Barratt

Assistants: James Thornhill, Matthew Smith

Fourth Official: Matthew Pope