Dagenham and Redbridge v FC Halifax Town: Preview

Tom Denton celebrates his opening goal.
FC Halifax Town v Dagenham & Redbridge.  FA Cup 1st Round replay. Shay Stadium.  15 November 2016.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Tom Denton celebrates his opening goal. FC Halifax Town v Dagenham & Redbridge. FA Cup 1st Round replay. Shay Stadium. 15 November 2016. Picture Bruce Rollinson

FC Halifax Town could go top in the National League if they win at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday (3pm) and leaders Sutton fail to beat Woking.

Halifax have won five of their last six games, keeping six clean sheets so far.

Dagenham are the highest home scorers in the league, but Town are the only side not to have conceded on the road so far.

The Daggers were unbeaten in their first eight games, starting off with back-to-back wins over Barrow and Boreham Wood before draws against Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet and Fylde, a 5-1 win over Bromley, a draw with Maidstone and another win over Gateshead.

But their last two outings have seen them lose against Hartlepool and leaders Sutton.

Top-scoere Corey Whitely is their danger man, with seven goals in nine games. The ex-Enfield Town attacker joined Dagenham last summer and scored 16 goals last season, including his team’s goal at The Shay in their FA Cup defeat. He went on to be named the club’s player of the season.

Fellow striker Michael Cheek scored four goals against Halifax during the 2015-16 campaign for Braintree, including a hat-trick at The Shay, and has three in six games so far for Dagenham.

Manager John Still is in his third stint in charge and finished fourth in the league last season before being knocked out in the play-off semi-final by eventual winners Forest Green Rovers.

The two teams met in the FA Cup last season, with Town holding Dagenham to a 0-0 draw in London before they won the replay 2-1 at The Shay, with goals from Tom Denton and Matty Kosylo.

Striker Tom Denton is rated as 50-50 due to a bruised foot sustained in Tuesday’s win at Leyton Orient.

“It’s not cleared up as quickly as we would have hoped,” said manager Billy Heath. “He’s struggling at the minute.”

Heath said centre-back Martin Riley won’t be fit and that it was too early to say if he would recover from his knee problem in time for next Saturday’s home game with Bromley.

Saturday’s National League fixtures:

Leyton Orient v Hartlepool

Wrexham v Guiseley

Barrow v Torquay

Woking v Sutton

Dag & Red v Halifax

Maidenhead v Boreham W

Dover v Chester

Macclesfield v Maidstone

Bromley v Solihull M

Gateshead v Aldershot

Ebbsfleet v Tranmere

Eastleigh v AFC Fylde