FC Halifax Town v Gateshead: Preview

Halifax v Sutton at The Shay. Picture: John Bradley
Halifax v Sutton at The Shay. Picture: John Bradley

The third of FC Halifax Town’s four games in eight days sees The Shaymen host Gateshead on Thursday (7.45pm).

Town go into the game on the back of superb consecutive wins over promotion-chasers Boreham Wood and Sutton, which have moved Jamie Fullarton’s team up to 14th in the National League.

They are nine points above 21st placed Barrow, who have only 15 points left to play for. They would have to win at least three of their last five games to catch Town, which seems unlikely given they have only won three of their last 18 games.

Even if that were to happen, there are now six clubs between Halifax and the relegation zone, so the chances of all of them outperforming Town between now and the end of the season seems slim to nigh-on impossible.

Especially considering the form of Halifax themselves, who have only lost once in their last nine matches, and have won four of their last five at home.

Gateshead, meanwhile, are without a win in seven, while their owners Richard and Julie Bennett announced on Monday that they were putting the club up for sale, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the club, which isn’t helped by the fact that manager Steve Watson and several members of his squad are out of contract at the end of the season.

They are without a win in their last seven away games, and let a 2-0 lead slip on Tuesday night as they lost 4-2 at Tranmere.

Gateshead could be looking nervously over their shoulders at the drop zone if they lose at The Shay. The Halifax match is one of their games in hand over every other side below them, but they are only six points above the relegation zone and are bang out of form.

Only three teams have won fewer away games than them in the National League.

If Gateshead win, they will move above Town in the table, but if Halifax win, they will move on to 56 points - 12 higher than Barrow’s current tally.