FC Halifax Town v Gateshead preview

Halifax v Gateshead. Picture: John Bradley
Halifax v Gateshead. Picture: John Bradley

FC Halifax Town have a chance to immediately bounce back from their dramatic defeat at Boreham Wood when they host Gateshead on Bank Holiday Monday (3pm).

Nathan Clarke’s goal had put Town in the driving seat at Boreham Wood, but two goals from striker Josh Umerah, including a last-ditch penalty, turned the match on its head.

Gateshead go into Monday’s game on the back of 1-1 home draw with Leyton Orient, who salvaged the draw with an 89th minute goal after Luke Armstrong had given Gateshead the lead with his fifth goal in six games.

Armstrong is a striker on loan from Middlesbrough, who he joined from Blyth Spartans, with whom he scored 23 goals in the 2016-17 season as they earned promotion to the National League North.

Last season he scored three goals in as many games in the Checkatrade Trophy against Accrington, Wigan and Blackpool. His goals have already earned Gateshead six of their 11 points this season.

Gateshead have former Halifax players Scott Boden and Connor Thomson in their squad. The Heed have only lost once so far this season - a 1-0 defeat at Bromley.

They started the campaign with three wins on the bounce over Maidenhead, Salford and Dover, but since then have gone three matches without a win.

Manager Steve Watson was appointed in October last year, succeeding former Halifax boss Neil Aspin.

Watson signed a new one-year contract in June despite knowing he would be working with a reduced budget and going from a full-time squad to a part-time squad after a possible takeover of the club fell through.

Only Harrogate have scored more goals in the National League than Halifax, with only three teams conceding fewer goals than Jamie Fullarton’s side.

Fullarton confirmed that Michael Duckworth, Ryan Sellers, Josh Staunton and Niall Maher all missed the Boreham Wood game through injury, and when asked if any of them would be fit for the Gateshead game, said he would assess things today (Sunday) ahead of Monday’s match.

The two sides drew 2-2 in their last meeting at The Shay, with Matty Kosylo and Mike Fondop-Talom on the scoresheet for Town (pictured).

Monday’s National League fixtures:

Aldershot Town v Sutton United

Barnet v Dagenham & Redbridge

Braintree Town v Maidenhead United

Bromley v Havant & Waterlooville

Eastleigh v Ebbsfleet United

FC Halifax Town v Gateshead

Hartlepool United v Chesterfield

Leyton Orient v Dover Athletic

Maidstone United v Boreham Wood

Salford City v Barrow

Solihull Moors v Wrexham

AFC Fylde v Harrogate Town