Town’s cup defence begins with Railway stop-off

FC Halifax Town players celebrate winning the WRCC, with a 1-0 win at Valley Parade against Guiseley.

FC Halifax Town players celebrate winning the WRCC, with a 1-0 win at Valley Parade against Guiseley.

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FC Halifax Town begin the defence of the West Riding County Cup with a trip to Harrogate Railway on Monday night (7.45pm kick-off).

The match is the first of two cup ties this week for the Shaymen, who visit MK Dons on Saturday in the first round of the FA Cup.

The teams for both games are set to be very different, with the likes of Phil Senior, Josh Wilson, Kevin Holsgrove, John McReady and Paul Marshall all expected to start against the Evo-Stik First Division North side.

Among their ranks is midfielder Colin Hunter, who scored FC Halifax Town’s first ever goal in a pre-season friendly against Alsager Town in July 2008.

Harrogate reached the semi-final of last season’s competition, where they lost to Guiseley, who were beaten in the final by Town at Valley Parade.

Harrogate assistant manager Lee Ashforth, who works at the Shay as Senior Football Development Officer, hopes the tie results in a financial boost for Raiilway.

He said: “It’s a brilliant draw for us. I’ve worked at the club for seven years now, I know Neil and the chairman and I’ve played against them three times.

“Financially it’s massive for us. We’re hoping to get three-times our average attendance.

“We’ve only got a 16-man squad so we’ll be putting out a strong side.

“But Halifax are three divisions above us so whoever they play it’s going to be a really difficult test.”