Power Rankings: FC Halifax Town - the pride of Yorkshire
The Yorkshire Post Power Rankings help provide us with an opportunity to highlight teams that often do not get enough attention elsewhere.
One story that has been missed this season in the wider footballing context is that of FC Halifax Town.
Their run in the league since Jim Harvey became manager has been staggering, and they have deservedly jumped up the rankings.
Elsewhere, Middlesbrough, Leeds and Huddersfield have suffered falls.
1) FC Halifax Town (up one)
What an exceptional turnaround from Halifax Town.
At one point during Darren Kelly’s reign, the Shaymen looked absolutely nailed on for relegation, with an inability to prevent opponents from scoring a key element of their problems.
Jim Harvey has got them performing and performing well, and they continued their forward momentum on Tuesday by progressing in the FA Trophy.
Their struggles in the first half of the campaign may mean this season is ultimately something of a write-off for Halifax, but there are reasons to be positive ahead of next season. A deserved first place in the Power Rankings.
2) Hull City (up two)
Last week, the Power Rankings highlighted how Hull could take second place in the Championship with a win against Cardiff City.
They have not just claimed the second automatic promotion spot but gone four points clear of Derby with wins against Cardiff and Charlton.
Their domination against the Addicks in particular was a performance worthy of a promotion-winning side as they beat the south London team 6-0.
A trip to Fulham awaits on Saturday, another opportunity for the Tigers to outline their Premier League credentials.
3) Sheffield Wednesday (up two)
Sheffield Wednesday are silently moving towards involving themselves in the promotion mix-up in the Championship.
Their 2-0 win against Leeds outlined the difference between the Owls and mid-table sides in the second tier - primarily the quality they possess in key areas.
This is not even Wednesday at their full strength, as they have been missing Tom Lees.
Up to sixth, they face a tough task in visiting Reading on Saturday, but it is a game a side hoping to get out of the Championship would aim to win.
4) Middlesbrough (down three)
This is the first time Boro have been off the top spot for a while.
They remain top of the Championship but the loss against Bristol City on Saturday killed their momentum.
Conceding a goal in the last minute was a double-whammy, as Aitor Karanka’s side had come within a minute of breaking the second tier clean-sheet record.
They now need to respond against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, something Karanka and his team have done repeatedly this season.
5) Huddersfield Town (down two)
There is a sense that Huddersfield are still adapting to David Wagner’s methods.
Consistency is absent from their game, and that will likely be the case until the summer rolls around.
A 1-1 draw against Fulham at home was not an ideal way to follow last week’s 5-0 demolition of Charlton, and the 5-2 loss to Reading ended their FA Cup run before it even began.
A trip to Brighton beckons. On the plus side, Town are ahead of Leeds in the league and look unlikely to be involved in the relegation conversation this season.
6) Barnsley (up three)
A 3-0 win against Shrewsbury Town away from home on Saturday helped Barnsley continue their rise up the League One table and away from the relegation zone.
They have won three in a row in the league and are a game away from Wembley in the JP Trophy.
It is some improvement for Lee Johnson’s side.
There must be people at Oakwell wondering what may have been possible if it were not for the rut they suffered earlier this campaign.
7) Doncaster Rovers (-)
While a home draw against Gillingham was not ideal for Doncaster’s hopes of cracking the top six over the second half of the season, there was an important context to the game.
After all, Gillingham are almost certainly going to be among the likely sides to win promotion this season.
To draw 2-2 draw is, therefore, impressive.
Darren Ferguson will almost certainly be looking for a win against Fleetwood on Saturday.
8) Sheffield United (up two)
Sheffield United are improving at one thing we highlighted as an issue earlier this season - winning games.
With three wins in their last five in the league, they have moved up to seventh in League One, just outside the play-off places.
A 2-1 victory against Colchester continued that run on Saturday.
Nigel Adkins will almost certainly be delighted with the improvement.
9) Rotherham United (down three)
Rotherham are still 21st in the Championship, a place they would be delighted with at the end of the season.
However, the 3-0 loss against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday ended a three-match winning run at the New York Stadium.
Neil Redfearn’s side travel to Cardiff City on Saturday and away games have been an issue all season.
Bristol City have made a change in the dugout and it paid immediate dividends. The Millers can not allow the 22nd placed side to overhaul them, as it would be hugely damaging to morale.
10) Guiseley (up two)
Guiseley had a difficult trip on Saturday but came through it exceptionally well.
They visited Dulwich Hamlet, who are a huge club for the level they play at, and managed an FA Trophy victory.
Guiseley are now only three wins away from a trip to Wembley.
It is back to league action for the Lions this weekend, something they do not need to approach with much fear as they are currently a comfortable four points clear of the relegation zone.
11) Bradford City (-)
Bradford City will have viewed their victory against Oldham in League One as key.
It ended a slow drop down the table and put them back into 10th.
However, they lost on penalties against Bury on Tuesday night in the FA Cup, which will have come as a bit of a blow for two reasons.
The first is that it would have asked more of already tired legs, and the second is that the Bantams have become cup specialists in recent years, which will have made the loss a real disappointment.
12) Leeds United (down four)
Leeds are not exactly doing terribly, but their place in the Power Rankings comes as a result of the fact that their season looks virtually over.
They do not look likely to get relegated from the Championship, but promotion is absolutely unlikely at this point.
That was even the case before Saturday’s 2-1 loss against Sheffield Wednesday, but the defeat at Hillsborough made it even more obvious.
The Whites need to build for next season, something that has got even harder with the impending departure of Sam Byram.
13) York City (-)
It was not a welcome return to action for York on Saturday as they lost to Newport County.
That 1-0 defeat leaves the Minstermen at the bottom of the Football League.
They suffered another blow last week as Ben Godfrey moved to Norwich City, a hot prospect escaping Bootham Crescent.
York City have escaped the relegation zone once in League Two. The task between now and May is to do it again and stay out of it.