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
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.
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 .
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.