FC Halifax Town could be in for their toughest test of the season so far when they travel to league leaders Wrexham on Tuesday (7.45pm).
The Shaymen go into the match on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw at Sutton on Saturday, which has left them fourth in the table with 16 points from a possible 24.
Wrexham are only a point better off but have the joint-best defensive record in the division with only four goals conceded. The Welsh side have kept five clean sheets so far, including three out of four at home.
Town boss Jamie Fullarton thinks his side will relish the prospect of facing the league leaders.
He said: “It’s no more of a test going from Boreham Wood to Gateshead. It’s a great game to go to, away from home, it will be a great atmosphere, which no doubt our travelling fans will contribute heavily to.
“It’s exciting. We’re looking forward to it.
“We’re only eight games in. Wrexham will be nine games in.
“I touched on it before that we made a conscious decision to start quickly and hit the ground running. Why? Because by the end of September you’ve played 14 games, which is a third of your season.
“We didn’t want to get into the trap, which you can do, of ‘there’s 40 games to’, ‘there’s 35 games to go’, before you know it, there’s 15 left and you’re in a relegation dog-fight.
“That’s where our mindset is, is sticking by the theme of going to try and win every game. It’ll be a good test for us and one that we will thrive on.
“But it’s only the ninth game of the season, so let’s add balance to it and remove emotion.
“Away from home against one of the early leaders. Flip it the other way and they’re at home against one of the early leaders. It’ll be a good test, but we’ve got to play every team twice so we’ll remain balanced in our approach.”
Former Halifax striker Mike Fondop-Talom is now at Wrexham and already has five goals so far this season. Ex-Halifax captain Kevin Roberts is also in the ranks at the Racecourse Ground.
Manager Sam Ricketts is the latest manager to take on the poisoned chalice of the Wrexham job. Many have tried and failed to get the club back in the Football League, but a three-year contract is an indication of the club’s faith in Ricketts, despite it being his first job in the dugout.
Captain Shaun Pearson won the club’s player of the season award last year, and will be a big presence at the heart of their defence again this time round. He scored five goals in 45 appearances, and was a huge part of a record breaking Dragons side that kept 22 clean sheets in his first season.
Wrexham have scored first in six of their eight games so far, going on to win five.
Five of the six goals Halifax have conceded have come away from home, and The Shaymen have only kept one clean sheet in their last five after not conceding in all of their first three matches.
Ben Tomlinson went off injured at Sutton with a knee injury and could miss the Wrexham game. If so, Jonathan Edwards may replace him from the start as he did off the bench at the weekend.
Scott Garner’s goal earned Town a 1-1 draw at Wrexham last season. Halifax’s last win at Wrexham came in December 2000 thanks to Gary Jones’ goal.
Tuesday’s National League fixtures:
AFC Fylde v Salford City
Boreham Wood v Chesterfield
Bromley v Barnet
Dagenham & Redbridge v Braintree Town
Dover Athletic v Ebbsfleet United
Gateshead v Harrogate Town
Hartlepool United v Barrow
Leyton Orient v Solihull Moors
Maidenhead United v Eastleigh
Maidstone United v Sutton United
Wrexham v FC Halifax Town