Ahead of FC Halifax Town’s National League North play-off semi-final with Salford, we look back on The Shaymen’s recent record in play-off campaigns.
First-leg: Gainsborough 2-2 Halifax
Second-leg: Halifax 0-1 Gainsborough
Town recovered from the loss of Jamie Vardy at the start of the season to finish third in the Conference North, ahead of Gainsborough in fourth on goal difference.
Neil Aspin’s side found themselves 2-0 down after 12 minutes at Gainborough in the first-leg before Lee Gregory scored twice to salvage a draw and seemingly put Town in control of the tie.
Kick-off for the second-leg at The Shay was delayed by 10 minutes due to the number of people who wanted to get into the ground, but they would end up disappointed as Shane Clarke’s 63rd minute goal knocked Halifax out, with Tom Baker and James Dean both hitting the woodwork.
First-leg: Halifax 1-1 Guiseley
Second-leg: Guiseley 0-2 Halifax
Halifax bounced back the following season and found themselves back in the play-offs 12 months later, against West Yorkshire rivals Guiseley.
In a reversal of the previous season’s tie, Halifax were held to a draw at home in the first-leg in front of 2,367 fans at The Shay as a header from Danny Ellis cancelled out Dan Gardner’s opener.
But second-half goals from Alex Johnson and Gregory sealed a thoroughly deserved win for Aspin’s side, who went on to beat Brackley in the play-off final.
First-leg: Halifax 1-0 Cambridge
Second-leg: Cambridge 2-0 Halifax
One year on, and Town made it a miraculous hat-trick of play-off appearances after an astonishingly good first season back in the fifth tier in which they finished above the likes of Barnet, Forest Green Rovers and Wrexham, helped in no small part by Gregory’s 32 goals.
The season had started with a sobering 5-1 thrashing at Cambridge on the opening day, but Town were a different team by the time of their play-off, semi-final first leg at The Shay.
Inevitably, it was Gregory who scored for Halifax in their 1-0 win in front of 3,668 fans, which put them just 90 minutes away from a place in the final.
It wasn’t to be though, as Delano Sam-Yorke, who scored twice in that 5-1 win back in August, did so again to break Town hearts.