Sat 05
First Team
FC Halifax Town

Match preview

By Jake Sapsford
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Maidenhead United vs Halifax Town: Vanarama National League, Saturday 5th October 2019, 3.00pm kick-off.

Alan Devonshire’s side have another chance to turn their form around as Halifax travel to York Road this afternoon.

They ended their poor September with last weekend’s defeat at Barrow, and will now look to start October in the right way.

The Shaymen though sit only one point behind leaders Bromley in the Vanarama National League, and will head to Berkshire with three points in mind.

Recent form

With the first two months of the National League season now over, the Magpies can now reflect on their contrasting performances between August and September, and target improvement. They were unable to stop the rot last weekend after making the long journey to Holker Street, and another defeat ensured that they’d only earned two points from a possible 18 in the month. Both sides were in differing moods and it showed as the hosts picked up a 2-0 win. John Rooney netted his third penalty in two games as he gave the hosts the lead after the half-hour mark. Scott Quigley added another early in the second-half, as the Magpies were forced to head back to Berkshire pointless.

Although they’ve fallen to 14th, Maidenhead know how quickly momentum can turn back on their side, as August proved, so all is not lost at this tricky stage of the campaign.

They can also take inspiration from their last home game. The Magpies were unlucky not to beat Dover, and Saturday will give them a chance to get back on track.

The opposition

It would be a real signal of intent if the Magpies can win though against the side sitting second in the league table.

After earning an impressive 28 points in the opening 14 matches, they’ve almost matched leaders Bromley.

Now in their third season of National League football since their promotion in 2017, they would go on to comfortably survive relegation twice.

After a recent run of only one win from three games, last weekend’s win at Dover helped them retain their spot in the top two. A brace from Scottish midfielder Cameron King earned them all three points. His second was a stunning strike from distance which looped over the head of goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

Halifax will now look to extend their form and take advantage of the Magpies’ weak home record in the process.

Last time out

The Magpies can take inspiration from last season’s results between the two in the National League as they completed a double.

The first took place at York Road in September 2018, as Maidenhead earned a comprehensive 3-0 victory. They took the lead after an accurate cross from James Comley was headed in by Josh Kelly in the 12th minute. The hosts were still in the ascendancy and made it two in the 18th minute. Kelly picked out Adrian Clifton and he also got in on the act, as he finished the ball beyond Sam Johnson.

In a fantastic first-half performance they made it 3-0 as the Kelly and Clifton combination worked again. Kelly scored his second as he finished a one on one with calm authority. Despite Ayo Obileye’s late red card, it proved to be a great result for the hosts as they climbed to 13th in the league table.

The second game in March wasn’t quite as convincing for the Magpies, but they were still able to claim another win.

Obileye was able to redeem himself after a red card in the reverse fixture as he scored the only goal. Mike Fondup was clipped in the penalty-area, and the Englishman dispatched the ball from 12 yards. Harold Odametey came close twice, but couldn’t score as the match finished 1-0.

Despite completing the double, Maidenhead could only finish four places below Halifax in the league table. But, they know that they have what it takes to beat the Shaymen, so will hope to replicate that success.

Final note

Head down to York Road this afternoon as the Magpies look to put September behind them, and resurrect August’s form in the process. Despite their poor form, they only sit three points behind ninth placed Solihull Moors, and a win could put momentum back on their side. A win for the visitors though could put them top should Bromley slip up at home to Barrow.



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