FC Halifax Town: Lincoln preview

Town celebrate one of their goals in the 3-2 win over Lincoln at The Shay last season
Town celebrate one of their goals in the 3-2 win over Lincoln at The Shay last season

FC Halifax Town travel to Lincoln on Boxing Day (3pm) aiming to maintain manager Jim Harvey’s unbeaten record in charge.

Harvey was appointed on a permanent basis until the end of the season this week after guiding Town to three wins and two draws in his five games at the helm.

Shaun Tuton looks set to spearhead Town’s attack in the absence of the suspended Jordan Burrow.

Tuton has rarely played in his favourite position as a central striker this season, but could get his chance up-front after Burrow received two yellow cards in the 1-1 draw with Tranmere on Saturday.

Kingsley James picked up his fifth booking of the season in that game, but has avoided a ban as the deadline for suspensions for accumulating five yellow cards is at the end of November.

Scott McManus is a doubt after he picked up a spasm in his back against Tranmere which forced him off after 35 minutes, while Keil O’Brien is also doubtful through illness.

Lincoln are seventh in the Conference, two points off a play-off place, but are without a win in their last five games, while Halifax are unbeaten in their previous five outings.

Lincoln were beaten 2-1 at Bradford Park Avenue last time out in the FA Trophy, a game in which former Town striker Jack Muldoon scored his fourth goal of the season.

But former Mansfield striker Matt Rhead is Lincoln’s danger man, having netted 18 goals in 26 games so far this season, including four in his last four appearances.

Rhead scored both Lincoln’s goals in their 2-2 home draw with Barrow in their last league outing, one of which was an overhead kick from the edge of the box.

It’s nine games since Lincoln failed to score, although they’ve kept only one clean sheet in their last 10 matches.

The Imps have lost just once at home in the league this season, while Town have won only two and lost nine of their 11 away matches in the National League.

Only Barrow and Bromley have conceded more away goals in the division than The Shaymen, who have now gone 32 league games without a clean sheet in the league, and have the worst defensive record in the Conference.

Town’s last win at Sincil Bank came in August 2001 when Paul Harsley and Craig Midgley scored in a 2-1 win.