The second midweek fixture for Notts transpires tonight. This time the magpies will make the trip to West Yorkshire to face FC Halifax Town and it goes without saying how important a positive result would be out of this one.
The magpies are coming into this fixture off the back of two straight defeats. This past Saturday, Notts suffered what may ultimately turn out to be their heaviest defeat all season, losing 1-4 to inform Woking on home soil. Notts, who led for seventy minutes prior to their unfortunate downfall, saw a lacklustre eight minutes conclude with deflating consequences as the cards put the game out of their reach.
Onto more positive news coming into this fixture on behalf of the visitors for tonight’s game, Notts’ record at The Shay is one that’ll leave travelling faithful feeling remotely confident prior to kick-off. In Notts’ first season as a National League side, they defeated FC Halifax Town 2-4 away from home. On this day, the magpies showed great fight and determination with braces from Mitch Rose and Kyle Wootton helping their side come back from losing positions twice in the game. As for their second visit to The Shay, Notts’ came away with a point in a game that was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On this day, it was Elisha Sam that put the magpies ahead early in the game, with a close-range shot nestling in the opposition’s net just after seven minutes. Despite leading the game for eighty-three minutes, a mix up between the Notts backline saw forward Jamie Allen race clean through on goal before dispatching past Sam Slocombe to equalise for the Shaymen in the ninety-fourth minute. The late equaliser meant Notts were denied two wins from two visits as a National League side to The Shay. However, the magpies have another opportunity to make it a brace of victories at The Shay this evening, and many Notts supporters would argue that it is much needed.
As for tonight’s hosts in FC Halifax Town, they come into this fixture off the back of a goalless draw away at Barnet, the place opponents Notts County ran wild and left 0-5 winners on the opening day of the season. Despite drawing with the current league strugglers, this result increased the Shaymen’s unbeaten run of form to five games. This same run of form includes some impressive victories, the most noticeable one being their 3-0 victory over big spending Stockport County. Tonight’s hosts have only fell to defeat twice thus far this season, both being by one goal deficits to Yeovil Town and Maidenhead United. The Shaymen’s impressive run of form in their past five games sees them currently sat fifth in the Vanarama National League. Forward Billy Waters, formerly of Torquay United, is certainly the one to watch for the visitors. Despite release from last season’s play-off finalists in the summer, the forward has enjoyed an impressive start to his spell at FC Halifax Town, netting eight times in nine games.
Defeat for either team tonight could see them drop out of the Vanarama National League play-off places. This could be an all-important catalyst for either side in their quest to come out of tonight’s fixture victorious, especially the visitors, who have had heaps of expectation unsurprisingly thrown their way not only by the fans but also the rest of the league itself.
So, what exactly can you expect out of tonight’s game?
Well, for me, and likewise every other game played from now until the end of the season, you can expect a game of high quality. Which doesn’t seem so surprising to say as it first did, that being due to the close in the gap of quality between the Vanarama National League and the Sky Bet League Two. It is no secret that both sides need the three points for different reasons despite both being in the play-off places. Beginning with the hosts, they’ll be looking to increase their unbeaten run of games to six with a win over Notts tonight. Having experienced this fixture in Notts’ first visit as a National League side, I know the Shaymen faithful get right behind their side constantly from minute one to ninety, ensuring they have more than enough vocal encouragement to come out of their games successful. As this is the case, I expect no different in tonight’s game and believe this could be the difference for the hosts this evening.
As for the visitors, it is no secret that they could massively do with three points coming out of this fixture, given their two straight defeats prior to the game. Although the Magpies are still without Kyle Cameron, the forever important Connell Rawlinson and the experienced Sam Slocmobe, they do welcome back star-man Cal Roberts, who missed last weekend’s game against Woking due to suspension. The wide-wan, who’s tipped to be the best player in division by many, has proven already this season that he can provide the moment of magic when his side need it most and if they need it tonight, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do it once again.
My personal predication for tonight’s game is another 1-1 draw. I expect an open game with many chances and predominantly end to end football. However, I believe both sides will be wasteful and therefore will both take a point a piece from the fixture.
- Halifax Town: WDWWD
- Notts County: DWWLL
- Halifax Town: Johnson, Senior, Maher, Bradbury, Warren, Gilmour, Spence, Green, Waters, Allen, Slew.
- Notts County: Patterson, Chicksen, Lacey, Brennan, Brindley, O’Brien, Palmer, Rodrigues, Nemane, Mitchell, Wootton.
Venue & time:
- The Shay, 7:45pm Tuesday 5th October 2021.
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @FCHTOnline the Shay Stadium has been home to football in Halifax since 1921.