FC Halifax Town: Ashton Athletic preview

Halifax loanee Alex Simmons (left) in action for Lincoln
Halifax loanee Alex Simmons (left) in action for Lincoln

FC Halifax Town kick-off their FA Cup campaign with a trip to Ashton Athletic on Saturday (3pm).

The Shaymen go into the game in mixed form, with two wins, two defeats and a draw in their last five games.

They have conceded at least twice in four of their six away games this term.

They have kept just three clean sheets in 11 games this season and top-scorer Tom Denton is without a goal in five matches.

Ashton beat Mossley 7-2 in the first qualifying round in front of 152 fans, a result which saw them reach the second qualifying round for the first time in the club’s history.

They were only founded in 1968 and finished seventh in the North West Counties Premier League last season.

Joint-managers Dougie Pitts, Jay Foulds and Ben Kay were appointed in June 2013.

Ashton drew 2-2 at New Mills on Wednesday night to leave themselves in 16th place in the North West Counties Premier Division, having won just two of their first seven league games.

Striker Isaac Kusaloka is their top-scorer with nine goals, including two in the 7-2 win over Mossley.

Lincoln loan striker Alex Simmons is eligible to play, while Southport loanee Keil O’Brien is also expected to be eligible.

Defender Cliff Moyo is expected to be fit after limping off with a hamstring strain on Tuesday.

Midfielder Matty Kosylo was expected to be available if he suffered no reaction in training last night.

Danny Hone is available again after being suspended for the 3-2 defeat at Gainsborough

Nathan Hotte will miss the game but could be fit for the Bradford Park Avenue game next Saturday.

If the game is a draw on Saturday, the replay will take place on Tuesday night at The Shay.

Town reached the first round proper of the FA Cup last season before losing 4-0 at home to Wycombe.

To reach that stage this term, they’ll have to beat Ashton and progress through two other rounds.