Ebbsfleet v FC Halifax Town preview

A previous meeting of the two sides at The Shay
A previous meeting of the two sides at The Shay

Pete Wild takes charge of his first competitive game in charge of FC Halifax Town on Saturday in their National League season-opener at Ebbsfleet (3pm).

Wild guided Town to a 1-0 win at Oldham on Tuesday night, and is expected to hand competitive debuts to the likes of Jamie Allen, Tobi Sho-Silva, Jack Earing and Liam Nolan.

Matty Brown missed the Oldham game due to a dead leg but Wild says "fingers crossed" the captain will be fit for Ebbsfleet, when the Town boss says his assistant manager will also be in place.

Ebbsfleet finished just one place outside the National League play-offs last season, and have signed 10 new players this summer.

They were unbeaten in pre-season, including victories over Charlton and Brighton. Their budget has been reduced this season, but they boosted their squad recently with the addition of striker Josh Umerah, who scored six goals from 16 starts for Boreham Wood last season.

They also have striker Gozie Ugwu in their squad. The forward was on the verge of joining Halifax earlier in his career, and scored 17 goals in 43 league games for Woking in the National League in 2016-17.

Other impressive signings by the club include centre-back Ayo Obileye from Maidenhead, who scored a winner at The Shay last season, and defender Mitch Brundle from Dover.

Halifax have a rotten record against Ebbsfleet, having won only once in their last eight meetings. That 3-0 win in March 2005 was also they only time they have scored at Ebbsfleet, with two of their last five losses there being 4-0 defeats.

Follow all the action on Saturday afternoon with the Courier's live blog at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk.