FC Halifax Town: Stalybridge preview

Actions from the game FC Halifax Town v Stalybridge Celtic at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is Danny Holland and Lian Hogan (above)
Actions from the game FC Halifax Town v Stalybridge Celtic at the Shay, Halifax'Pictured is Danny Holland and Lian Hogan (above)

Assistant boss Mark Carroll says there’s a lot more to come from FC Halifax Town ahead of their home clash with Stalybridge on Saturday (3pm).

Could do better is Carroll’s verdict on the campaign to date, but says a few teething problems are to be expected given the overhaul the Halifax squad underwent in the summer.

“It could be better,” he said. “We’re not in a bad position.

“We’re only nine games in and we only kept six players from last year so we’re lacking a bit of cohesion, which can happen when you get a lot of new players together.

“We know we can get better. Our use of the ball has to be better - we’ve been a bit sloppy in possession at times - and we’ve gone up to Tom Denton too quickly at times.

“Apart from the Harrogate game, we’ve been in every match - that was the only game where we could say it wasn’t anything like what we can produce.”

Winger Matty Kosylo got a bang to his knee on Tuesday night and will be assessed before Saturday.

Centre-back Keil O’Brien was ill on the day of the Salford game but it was hoped he would train on Thursday night.

Midfielder Nathan Hotte has got a chance of featuring against Stalybridge after aggravating his groin injury, which kept him out in midweek.

Danny Hone is available tomorrow but will be suspended for Tuesday’s trip to Gainsborough.

Defender Matty Brown could return to training in a couple of weeks, but that is dependent on how he reacts to starting running next week.

Town have kept just two clean sheets in their first nine matches, although Stalybridge have kept only one.

Stalybridge recorded just their second win in their first nine games last time out against Gainsborough in their first match under new management duo Paul Phillips and Steve Halford, who were previously at Ashton United.

While Town were producing some late drama of their own at Salford, Stalybridge scored a 94th minue winner on Tuesday night through Andy Owens’ penalty.

But only Telford have scored as few goals as Stalybridge’s seven in the division, who have lost more matches than any other side in the league.

Halifax haven’t beaten Stalybridge in their last five meetings, with Town’s last win against them coming in December 1997 when one goal from Darren Lyons and two from Geoff Horsfield sealed a 3-1 victory at The Shay.

Coach travel to Gainsborough on Tuesday night departs at 4.30pm and costs £10. For more details call 07707 143094.

Saturday’s National League North fixtures:

Alfreton v Harrogate Town

Bradford Park Avenue v Worcester City

Chorley v Brackley Town

Curzon Ashton v Tamworth

Halifax v Stalybridge Celtic

FC United of Manchester v AFC Fylde

Gainsborough Trinity v Telford

Gloucester City v Altrincham

Kidderminster v Salford City

Nuneaton v Darlington

Stockport v Boston United