Shaymen head to Dover for season opener

FC Halifax Town v Barnsley at The Shay Stadium.
FC Halifax Town v Barnsley at The Shay Stadium.

FC Halifax Town make the 273-mile trip south to Dover on Saturday (3pm kick-off) as their 2014-15 campaign gets underway.

The Shaymen go into the new season in fine shape having won seven of their eight games in pre-season.

Neil Aspin should also have a fully fit squad to choose from as captain Lois Maynard and defender Scott McManus are both expected to be available after picking up knocks in the 4-0 win at buxton last Saturday.

Dover ended an equally impressive pre-season with a 1-0 win at Chatham on Tuesday to finish with nine wins and a draw in 10 games.

Chris Kinnear has added six new faces to his squad over the summer, including former Barnet midfielder Nicky Deverdics, who played against Town for Tadcaster in pre-season.

Dover finished fifth in the Conference South last season before edging past Sutton United in the semi-final of the play-offs and winning the final at Ebbsfleet thanks to Nathan Elder’s second-half goal.

It is the first time the Whites have been in the Conference Premier since 2002.

Kinnear previously managed the club from 1985 to 1995, successfully guiding the club from the foot of the Southern League to the Conference, winning the Southern League Southern Division and then the Southern League Premier Division twice.

They have previously been managed by former England caretaker-boss Peter Taylor and ex-Wales international Neville Southall.

The two sides have only met twice before, during Town’s promotion-winning 1997-98 season, when Kevin Hulme scored in a 1-1 draw at the Shay and Jamie Paterson struck the only goal in the return game.

Follow Halifax Town reporter Tom Scargill on Twitter for live updates throughout every Shaymen match - and check www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/halifaxtown for reports after the game.