FC Halifax Town: Former Dover duo will offer contrasting styles of play

Jamie Allen celebrates after scoring during the Hartlepool United vs Dover Athletic match in the Vanarama National League at Victoria Park. Hartlepool on Saturday 5 August 2017  (Photo: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press) ''�Shutter Press
Jamie Allen celebrates after scoring during the Hartlepool United vs Dover Athletic match in the Vanarama National League at Victoria Park. Hartlepool on Saturday 5 August 2017 (Photo: Mark Fletcher | Shutter Press) ''�Shutter Press

FC Halifax Town bolstered their squad this week with the signings of goalkeeper Will Appleyard and attackers Tobi Sho-Silva and Jamie Allen.

Appleyard, 19, was released by Stevenage this summer having made just one first-team appearance - in an 8-0 defeat to Charlton in the Football League Trophy in October 2018.

Tobi Sho-Silva (right) during the Vanarama National League match between Dover Athletic and Hartlepool United at the Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover on Saturday 24th November 2018. (Credit: Matt Bristow | Shutter Press)'�MI News & Sport | Shutter Press

Tobi Sho-Silva (right) during the Vanarama National League match between Dover Athletic and Hartlepool United at the Crabble Athletic Ground, Dover on Saturday 24th November 2018. (Credit: Matt Bristow | Shutter Press)'�MI News & Sport | Shutter Press

Sho-Silva scored scored 11 league goals in 38 appearances for Bromley during the 2016-17 season, but only scored once in the last two seasons for Dover.

Allen scored 10 goals in 35 appearances for Southport in 2016-17, and has scored seven times in the last two campaigns for Dover, who had taken up an option in his contract before allowing him to move back up north due to homesickness.

Dover FC reporter for Kent Online Cameron Hogwood says Sho-Silva and Allen will offer two contrasting styles of play.

“With Allen you can expect hard work week in-week out,” he said. “The forward is excellent at pressing defenders and forcing mistakes high up the pitch. Besides breaking into the box and working the channels, he can also be an important bridge from midfield to attack by dropping in behind his strike partner to pick up the ball. His versatility and energy make him capable of being a nuisance in any position across a front three.

“If he can put together a run of games and find some form, Sho-Silva could emerge a very useful source of goals. The forward proved as much during his time at Bromley when he scored 11 in the National League in 2016/17, including five in three games towards the end of the season. He also benefited hugely from a loan spell at Margate over the last two months of the 2018/19 campaign, notably scoring a hat-trick against Harlow. Having struggled with injury in the past, it just feels like he needs a run of games to really assert himself as a focal point.”

Hogwood says Sho-Silva’s best position is as an orthodox centre-forward, but that Allen can be a threat in various attacking roles.

“I think the best I saw him play last season was as part of a front two,” Hogwood said of Allen. “It gave him the opportunity to break into the box, work well out-wide with right-back Josh Passley and drift deeper to pick up the ball and serve as a creator where possible.

“It also allowed him to inter-change with those around him as Dover troubled opposition sides on the counter-attack in the latter stages of the campaign.

“Allen himself will likely admit he would have liked to score more than the seven goals he grabbed in 57 appearances, but that record shouldn’t take anything away from his contributions when it comes to his work ethic or dedication.

“His 45 appearances across all competitions last season lay claim to how prominent a figure he was under Andy Hessenthaler. His value at Dover was further underlined when the club took up the option to retain his services at the end of the season.

“Sho-Silva only featured 22 times for Dover after signing for the club from Bromley in 2017. He found first team opportunities hard to come by after Hessenthaler replaced Chris Kinnear as manager in October.”