Play-off rivals Halifax and Gateshead meet in crucial Shay clash

Richard Peniket is a doubt for Town's home clash with Gateshead.
Richard Peniket is a doubt for Town's home clash with Gateshead.

Play-off contenders FC Halifax Town and Gateshead go head-to-head at the Shay on Tuesday (7.45pm) in a crucial game in the race for the top-five.

Both sides are six points adrift of the play-offs having played 38 games and have won, drawn and lost the same number of games.

The Shaymen go into the match without a win in seven and with four consecutive draws, while Gateshead are in patchy form, having won two and lost two of their last five.

Only Grimsby can match Gateshead’s defensive record away from home in the Conference, while only three teams have scored more on their own patch than Town.

Only Bristol Rovers and Macclesfield have lost fewer home games than Halifax, who have lost just once in their last eight matches at the Shay.

Neil Aspin is expected to be without striker Richard Peniket after he picked up a knee injury in the 0-0 draw at Altrincham on Saturday, meaning the Town boss could be forced into changing his starting line-up for the first time in four games, with Danny Hattersley, Scott Boden and Jack Muldoon all contenders to come in.

Midfielder Josh Gillies, who started his career at Gateshead, made his second debut for them in their 1-0 defeat at Dover at the weekend after signing on an emergency loan from Carlisle.

Gillies had joined Town on loan earlier this season, but the deal had to be cancelled after he picked up an injury.

Striker and top-scorer Alex Rodman will be available again after serving a three-game suspension, while the visitors will hope to have forward Carl Finnigan available after he missed the Dover game with a groin injury.

Town’s last three meetings with Gateshead have all been draws, with the return fixture this season ending 2-2, with Lois Maynard grabbing both Halifax goals.