FC Halifax Town: Altrincham preview

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Cheltenham at the Shay, Halifax. Darren Kelly
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Cheltenham at the Shay, Halifax. Darren Kelly
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Town boss Darren Kelly believes Tuesday’s game at Altrincham is a chance for his players to make up for their horror show against Cheltenham at the weekend.

Halifax fell to their biggest defeat for 12 years with a 7-1 humbling at The Shay on Saturday to leave them four points adrift of safety in the National League.

The Shaymen have conceded more than any other team in the league and have the worst goal difference.

No other side in the division has lost more games than Town, while only bottom-club Kidderminster have won fewer matches.

Kelly admitted Town’s heavy defeat offered few answers in his mission to turn around the club’s fortunes, but reckons Tuesday’s game offers a chance to put that result right.

“I spoke to the players when I came in on Thursday and said it was a clean slate, go and prove your worth to the team,” said Kelly.

“I can’t take too much out of that from Saturday.

“On that performance, it raised a lot of question marks over a lot of things.

“But there’s a game to prepare for on Tuesday. It’s an opportunity to put it right and show their worth and we’ll take it from there.”

Winger Josh Macdonald came off with a cramp in his hamstring during the second-half on Saturday, but Town are expected to have a fully-fit squad to choose from other than that.

Kelly wasn’t happy with his squad’s reaction to Cheltenham’s third goal just after the interval on Saturday, and has called on his side to show more character at Altrincham.

“It’s how the players deal with it mentally now,” he added.

“When Cheltenham scored their third I thought mentally, that did us and drained the life out of us.

“Looking to Tuesday, that can’t happen.

“If you really want to succeed in life, you’ve got to stand up and be counted.

“Mentally you’ve got to deal with situations but show good character to come back when you go a goal, two, three down.

“We didn’t do that.”

Town have gone 22 games without keeping a clean sheet, with their last shout-out coming at Altrincham back in March.

Halifax have lost all their away games so far this term, with their last success on the road coming at Nuneaton, also in March.

No other team have scored fewer goals in the league than Altrincham, but their three-game unbeaten run is their best spell of form so far this season.

That run includes a 1-1 draw at Lincoln, which preceded 1-0 wins over Boreham Wood and Barrow.

Lee Sinnott’s men, who include ex-Town winger Ryan Crowther in their ranks, have already recorded impressive home wins over Grimsby, Tranmere and Cheltenham.