"They might make it a scrappy game" - Maidenhead United v FC Halifax Town: Opposition Focus
How has Maidenhead's start to the season been?
Rather frustrating. They began their campaign with a loss to Notts County before two great wins at home against former League Two opposition Scunthorpe and Altrincham. Dagenham & Redbridge next condemned the Magpies to a defeat, before Alan Devonshire’s men most recently lost to York City and Southend United. Notably, in these three matches, the Magpies have been unable to hit the back of the net. Devonshire always plays his cards close to his chest so will put that down to just not being clinical enough, but supporters would have noticed there was no Sam Barratt – who is a great goalscorer as well as provider – and Dan Sparkes against the Minstermen or the Shrimpers. It remains to be seen when they are able to return to action and get the Magpies firing again.
What are the expectations among fans this season?
Given the difficulty of the league this year, with an abundance of former league sides, I believe Maidenhead United supporters would be fairly content with their team avoiding relegation. They are due to move into a new stadium before long so ensuring their National League status is something of a priority before the team can really start targeting places in the top 10. I think a 15th place finish would satisfy a lot of fans.
What's the team's style of play, what can Halifax expect to come up against?
The Magpies have always been a bit of a counter-attacking team but in their victories against Scunthorpe and Altrincham I certainly noticed they were playing more of a possession-based game. They could revert to this against Halifax if Barratt and Sparkes are unavailable. Maidenhead United also have a number of target men so the Shaymen can expect a tough afternoon trying to keep them quiet from set pieces or overcome them down the other end.
Who will be your dangermen and why?
I believe Koby Arthur will have a good game. Signed from Dover Athletic, the midfielder is small, agile, and quick, and will be trying to make things happen for the Magpies. Kane Ferdinand is another good shout. He seems to pop up in good positions and is capable of scoring goals in a number of ways.
How do you think they will approach Saturday's game?
I think Devonshire will have told his players this week that they need to get back to winning ways this Saturday. They might make it a scrappy game and with home support there too, Halifax could find it difficult.
As it stands, Sam Barratt, Dan Sparkes, and back-up goalkeeper Alexis Andre Jr are the only players I know who are unavailable.
Likely line-up and formation?
Gyollai, Asare, De Havilland, Eweka, Clerima, Beckwith, Upward, Ferdinand, Adams, Arthur, Acquah. – That’s my guess of the lineup and the formation would be 4-4-1-1.