The highs and lows of FC Halifax Town’s previous opening days

Jamie Vardy scores the winner for Halifax against Buxton in 2010.
Jamie Vardy scores the winner for Halifax against Buxton in 2010.

Previous opening days of the season have seen FC Halifax Town experience dream and nightmare starts to their campaigns.

The Shaymen have never drawn an opening day game since reforming in 2008, and have won five of the 10 first-day matches they have played.

Here, we take a look back at Town’s last 10 opening day games ahead of the start to their 2018-19 campaign at Braintree.

FC Halifax Town 0-3 Bamber Bridge

August 16, 2008

Attendance: 1,549

After the heartbreak of the old Halifax Town folding, the new club, in the alien territory of the Northern Premier league Division One North, stuttered their way into existence with an underwhelming 3-0 defeat at home to Bamber Bridge.

Town would finish the season in 8th, five points off the play-offs.

Colwyn Bay 0-3 FC Halifax Town

August 15, 2009

Halifax: Hedge, Hotte (Peers 27), Codman, Payne, Crossley, Sykes, Gray (Whitehouse 79), Phelan, Baker, Marshall, Dean. Subs not used: Senior, Smith, Riley.

Attendance: 854

As opening day games go, this one could not have gone much better.

James Dean’s close range volley handed Town the lead, and his stunning half-volley doubled it four minutes before half-time.

Richard Marshall sealed the win shortly after the restart when he produced an excellent finish from a tight angle.

FC Halifax Town 2-1 Buxton

August 21, 2010

Halifax: Hedge, Hardy, Bower, Hogan, Riley, Garner (Metcalfe 61), Winter, Baker, Holland, Vardy, Gray (Taylor 69). Subs not used: Senior, Marshall, Plummer .

Attendance: 1,318

A sign of things to come saw Jamie Vardy score the winning goal as he kicked off his only full season at The Shay in the manner he would continue it.

Town led at half-time thanks to Danny Holland, who also hit the woodwork along with Harry Winter, but were pegged back after the interval by Michael Towey before Vardy’s winner.

FC Halifax Town 1-3 Corby Town

August 13, 2011

Halifax: Eastwood, Hardy, Lowe, Hogan, Haggerty, McManus, Vardy, Baker, Dean, Holland, Needham. Subs: Senior, Garner, Gray, Winter, Gregory.

Attendance 1,738

No-one saw this coming after two seasons of unbroken success. But Town were brought down to earth with a bump by two goals in the last 10 minutes.

Danny Holland had quickly cancelled out Liam Hogan’s own goal, but Jordan Smith and Sam Ives scored late on by taking advantage of some generous Halifax defending.

Bishops Stortford 1-2 FC Halifax Town

August 18, 2012

Halifax: Glennon, Toulson (Worsley 45), Needham, Hogan, Jarrett, Lowe, Worthington, Marshall, Johnson (Rainford 55), Gregory, Seddon (Qualter 84). Subs not used: Senior, St Juste.

Attendance: 622

The hosts took a 40th-minute lead through Cliff Akurang but the Shaymen were back on level terms just nine minutes after the break through Dale Johnson.

Then, just four minutes later, the home side’s Sean Francis put through his own net for what would prove to be the winner.

Cambridge United 5-1 FC Halifax Town

August 11, 2013

Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Roberts (Briggs 54), Lowe, Smith (Ainge 12), Maynard, Pearson, Holsgrove (Morgan 25), Wilson, Gregory. Subs not used: Johnson, Gardner.

Attendance: 2,780

Lee Gregory gave Town the dreamiest of dream starts, but it quickly turned into an opening-day nightmare as two penalties and two red cards were awarded against the Shaymen before half-time.

Not surprisingly, Cambridge made their two-man advantage count as they eased to victory with two each from Adam Cunnington and Delano Sam-Yorke, and one from Ryan Donaldson.

Dover Athletic 0-1 FC Halifax Town

August 9, 2014

Halifax: Glennon, M Roberts, Bolton, Ainge, K Roberts (Smith 46), Maynard, Schofield (Peniket 79), Pearson, McManus, Boden, Dyer (Marshall 46). Subs not used: Senior, Williams.

Attendance: 1,321

Scott McManus’ excellent goal moments after the restart sealed an opening day win for Town on the south coast.

The full-back’s superb low shot from 20 yards went in off the post and was enough for the win, despite Simon Ainge getting sent-off late on.

Boreham Wood 3-1 FC Halifax Town

August 8, 2015

Halifax: Glennon, Bolton, Bencherif (c), Brown, McManus, Macdonald (Bishop 68), Hibbs (Hughes 63), James, Whitehouse, Tuton, Burrow. Subs not used: Porter, Hutchison, Walker.

Attendance: 701

Jordan Burrow marked his debut with the last kick of the first-half from the penalty spot after Ricky Shakes had opened the scoring.

But the hosts regained the lead through debutant Jamie Lucas mid-way through the second-half before Harry Cawford, also making his first appearance for the club, sealed it in added time.

Nuneaton Town 2-3 FC Halifax Town

August 6, 2016

Halifax: Drench, Moyo, Garner, Hone, Wilde, Macdonald (Hughes 62), Roberts, Hotte, Peniket, Burrow (Hibbs 80), Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Kosylo, Sinnott.

Attendance: 933

Tom Denton scored a hat-trick on his debut as FC Halifax Town beat Nuneaton 3-2 on the opening day of the season.

It was Billy Heath’s first game in charge of The Shaymen, and the win proved a positive omen for the season ahead, with Town sealing promotion in the play-off final.

FC Halifax Town 0-2 Aldershot Town

August 5, 2017

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Garner, Brown, Wilde, Macdonald (Clarke 70), Hotte, Oliver, Kosylo, Tomlinson (Charles 64), Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Riley, McManus.

Attendance: 2,108

Shamir Fenelon scored for Aldershot on the hour, racing to intercept a flick-on by Scott Rendell before rounding Sam Johnson to slot into an empty net.

Aldershot doubled their lead late on when Matty Brown fouled Shaun Okojie in the box, and James Rowe converted the penalty.