Town host Macclesfield with play-off place in their sights

Simon Ainge in action against Macclesfield earlier this season, who he could make a return to the first-team against on Saturday.
Simon Ainge in action against Macclesfield earlier this season, who he could make a return to the first-team against on Saturday.

FC Halifax Town host Macclesfield on Saturday (3pm kick-off) knowing they are within touching distance of sealing a place in the play-offs.

The Shaymen have recorded a remarkable hat-trick of away wins over Nuneaton, Barnet and Grimsby since their last home game to leave them within touching distance of a top-five finish.

Town’s 1-0 win at Grimsby on Tuesday made it 11 hours since they last conceded a goal - with only Sheffield United boasting a longer run without conceding in the top five divisions of English football this season.

The Shaymen have also set a new club record of seven consecutive clean sheets, with the last goal against them coming more than a month ago when Alex Brown scored for Hyde in their 5-1 defeat on March 8.

As if that wasn’t enough for Macclesfield to worry about, Town have lost the fewest home games in the Skrill Premier as well as having the division’s second best goals for record and third best goals against record on their own patch.

The visitors visit the Shay on the back of an impressive win at Braintree, but had lost their last nine consecutive away games before then.

But that Braintree win is their sole victory in their last six games and was just their second clean sheet on the road all season.

However, Macclesfield have recorded wins already this season at Barnet, Grimsby and Braintree.

Halifax failed to score at home in the league for the first time this campaign last time out against Braintree.

But in Lee Gregory, Town boast the highest-scoring Englishman in the top-five divisions, with only Liverpool’s Luis Suarez netting more goals than the Halifax striker.

Simon Ainge is expected to replace James Bolton, who should be Town’s only absentee as he is on loan from Macclesfield and won’t be allowed to play.

Adam Smith may also come back into the side after being on the bench in the last two games.

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.