Conference ‘concerned’ about Shay

The Shay Stadium, Halifax, pictured yesterdau
The Shay Stadium, Halifax, pictured yesterdau

League chiefs have expressed concern about the state of the Shay pitch ahead of a busy festive fixture list for the FC Halifax Town.

In the build up to two home games in three days over Christmas, Conference bosses have written to the Shaymen regarding the high number of postponed home games - in a week when Neil Aspin admitted Town could be nine games behind their rivals by this time next month.

Flooding and frost has seen five home games postponed due to the weather.

Cup games have also wreaked havoc with the league programme which currently sees Town six games and 26 points behind leaders Chester.

A league spokesman said: “It’s fair to say we’ve got concerns. We will be getting in touch with the club to express our concerns about the number of postponements because we’ve not really had any severe weather so far.”

While the club won’t face financial penalties, the Conference will ask the club to try and find a “practical solution” to the problem.

But with early forecasts suggestion a wet holiday period, plus an FA Trophy third round tie to come, Aspin said the situation was likely to get worse.

“By the time we play the next round of the Trophy we’re going to be eight or nine games behind some teams in our league and that’s something we didn’t want,” said Aspin.

“You don’t want to be getting any more postponements but that’s going to be down to the weather and there’s nothing I can do about that.

“A couple of seasons ago we were chasing teams with lots of games to play but that was two leagues below this. The games at this level are tougher, you need the players to be fresh and you can’t just play game after game and expect not to pick up knocks and fatigue.”

Town travel to Colwyn Bay tomorrow before a Boxing Day clash against last season’s play-off conquerors and currently in form Gainsborough Trinity.

The Shaymen will then entertain Corby Town on December 29 before playing Gainsborough again, this time away, on New Year’s Day.

Town lost their first home game of the season to Colwyn Bay back in August, and ahead of the trip to North Wales, Aspin said he was expecting a typically difficult clash.

“Colwyn Bay is a tough game, we’ve proved that over the years,” he said.

“They have been a difficult team to play against and losing to them first home game of the season wasn’t a great start for us and we really owe them one.

“Certainly the games at Colwyn are tough and Saturday will be no different.”

Town loanee Jamie Rainford, who is currently at Colwyn, will be unavailable to play against his parent club.

Aspin must also decide whether to recall Alex Johnson, who was cup tied in mid-week, or give Dan Garnder his second start in a week.