FC Halifax Town: Chester preview

James Bolton in action for FC Halifax Town against Chester at the Shay earlier this season.
James Bolton in action for FC Halifax Town against Chester at the Shay earlier this season.

FC Halifax Town and Chester will try again on Wednesday night (7.45pm) to play their postponed third round FA Trophy game at The Shay.

The match was postponed on Saturday due to a waterlogged pitch, which has since hosted Halifax RLFC against Whitehaven on Sunday, so the condition of the surface may not be up to scratch to host Town’s cup tie.

Should the game be postponed again, it is likely to be re-arranged for Tuesday, February 16, which would mean the Toruqay match would then need to be put back.

The winners already know they will host Neil Aspin’s Gateshead in the quarter-finals.

Town have already banked £11,000 in prize money from the competition after beating Tamworth and Barrow, and will collect another £7,000 if they win on Wednesday.

Both teams have yet to concede in the competition, although Chester have completed a league double over Halifax this season, winning 1-0 at The Shay and 2-1 in the reverse fixture.

However, the two sides have experienced contrasting form since that game in October.

Chester have played 16 games since then, winning just four and losing eight, scoring 19 goals

Halifax have played 17 times since that defeat, winning eight and losing just three, scoring 32 goals.

Richard Peniket is set to keep his place in the Town side after he started against Welling last time out, although Wade Fairhurst is available after joining Town on a non-contract basis last week.

Dino Fazlic is cup-tied having played for Kidderminster in the competition earlier this season.

Sam Walker is available despite his sending off in the West Riding County Cup defeat to Bradford Park Avenue on Wednesday night as that is classed as a non first-team game, so his suspension is only applicable to other non first-team matches.

Halifax are still unbeaten under manager Jim Harvey, a run that now stretches to 12 games,

With the departure of Shaun Tuton, a return to goalscoring form for Jordan Burrow would be very timely for The Shaymen.

The former Lincoln forward has not scored in his last nine matches for Halifax, with the only other players than Tuton to score in Town’s last seven matches being midfielders Sam Walker and Kingsley James.

Ross Hannah is Chester’s top-scorer with 13 goals, but only has one in his last five games.

Chester’s only win in their last six games was in the last round of the FA Trophy when they beat Hungerford 4-0.

They have won just once in their last 11 league games, and their only victory in their last eight away matches was an FA Trophy win at Telford.

The two clubs last met in the FA Trophy in January 2004, when goals from Lewis Killeen and Andy Farrell sealed a 2-1 win.