FC Halifax Town v Stockport County preview

Here is our preview of FC Halifax Town’s National League game against Stockport County.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 2:55 pm
STOCKPORT, ENGLAND - MAY 16: Simon Rusk, manager of Stockport County reacts during the Vanarama National League match between Stockport County and Torquay United at Edgeley Park on May 16, 2021 in Stockport, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

Venue: The Shay

Date: Saturday, September 18

Kick-off: 3pm

Referee: Scott Simpson took charge of two Halifax games last season - their 5-2 home win over Barnet in December and their 2-1 home defeat to Bromley in April, in which he awarded the visitors a penalty for a foul on striker Michael Cheek. In three National League games this season, he has shown nine yellow cards and awarded one spot kick.

Odds: Halifax win 9/4, draw 9/4, Stockport win 11/10

Season so far

Halifax - P6, W3, D1, L2, F11, A8: Maidenhead (h) L 2-1, Woking (a) W 3-2, Altrincham (h) W 2-0, Yeovil (a) L 1-0, Southend (h) W 3-1

Stockport - P6, W2, D2, L2, F4, A6: Dag & Red (h) L 3-1, Southend (a) W 1-0, Grimsby (h) 0-0, Boreham Wood (a) D 0-0, Yeovil (h) L 3-0, Maidenhead (a) W 2-0

Scorers

Halifax: Billy Waters (5), Jordan Slew (2), Jesse Debrah, Martin Woods, Niall Maher, Tom Bradbury

Stockport: John Rooney (3), Alex Reid

Manager: Simon Rusk was a midfielder, playing for Boston, York and Crawley amonst others, before going into coaching at the latter and then joining Brighton as a youth team coach. He was appointed as Brighton’s under 23 coach in 2015 and after impressing in the role, replaced Jim Gannon at Stockport in January, losing to Hartlepool in the National League play-offs.

Last season: 3rd in National League

One to watch: Younger brother of Wayne, 30-year-old John Rooney had spells at Macclesfield and in the US before his time at Chester, where two successful seasons earned him a move to Wrexham. After a season at Guiseley, he helped Barrow earn promotion to the Football League in 2020 before joining Stockport for an undisclosed fee.

Match facts: Only Solihull’s Joe Sbarra and Chesterfield’s Kabongo Tshimanga have scored more goals in the National League this season than Halifax’s Billy Waters (5).

Only bottom club Dover have scored fewer goals than Stockport (4) in the division so far, while only three teams have scored more than Halifax (11).

Last time they met: One defensive slip proved costly as Stockport’s Paddy Madden scored the winner just before half-time at The Shay back in May. Halifax had grown into the game and went close to taking the lead, but 44 minutes of hard work was undone when Madden pounced on Niall Maher’s error and blasted a shot past Sam Johnson. Town huffed and puffed after half-time as they pressed for an equaliser, but Stockport defended well and saw the game out.

Follow all the action from The Shay on Saturday with our live blog on the Courier website, where there will also be an on-the-whistle match report and post-match reaction from Town boss Pete Wild.

Saturday’s National League fixtures:

Torquay v Southend

Wrexham v Dag & Red

Bromley v Barnet

Notts Co v Maidenhead

Yeovil v Chesterfield

Grimsby v Eastleigh

Halifax v Stockport

Wealdstone v Aldershot

Solihull M v Boreham W

Weymouth v Dover