FC Halifax Town can take another step closer to Wembley if beat Torquay United in the second round of the FA Trophy at Plainmoor on Saturday.
Torquay’s most obvious threat should come from striker Jamie Reid. Only two players have scored more goals in the National League this season than Reid, who has 19 in all competitions this term and netted twice in Torquay’s 4-2 win at The Shay in November (pictured).
But Town have their own sharp shooter in the form of striker Devante Rodney, who re-joined The Shaymen this week on loan for the rest of the season. He netted seven goals in 12 appearances on loan with Halifax last season.
But he has already played for Stockport in the FA Trophy this season, so will not be eligible for this Saturday’s game.
Saturday’s clash will go to a replay if it ends in a draw. It is expected any replay would take place on Tuesday, January 14 at The Shay.
“We want to win the cup tie,” said Town boss Pete Wild, “if that means we have to go to a replay then so be it. As a manager, I’d rather have it done in 90 minutes because I’ve got enough games with what is a small squad. But I want to win the game, so however we have to do that, we’ll do that.”
Town are expected to be without injured duo Liam Nolan and Jacob Hanson, but could welcome back defender Michael Duckworth into the squad.
Torquay are expected to be missing Liam Davis, Frank Vincent, Opi Edwards, Ben Wynter and Matt Buse through injury.
The Gulls are five points and five places below Town in the National League, and have lost nine of their last 12 games in all competitions, which has followed a run of seven wins out of eight earlier in the season.
Their clean sheet against Dagenham and Redbridge last time out was their first since they beat Wrexham at the end of October.
Only Chesterfield and Ebbsfleet have conceded more home goals in the division than Gary Johnson’s side, who have shipped three or more goals in seven matches this term.
The Shaymen’s last away win was at Sutton at the end of October.
Halifax’s last win at Plainmoor was back in 2002 when goals from Paul Stoneman, Paul Harsley, Craig Middleton and Matthew Clarke helped seal a 4-2 win.
If Halifax win the tie, they will receive £5,250, and if they lose, they will earn £1,750
Follow all the action from Plainmoor on Saturday afternoon on our live blog at www.halifaxcourier.co.uk.
Saturday’s FA Trophy fixtures:
Dorking Wanderers v Stockport County
Kingstonian v AFC Telford United or Leamington
AFC Fylde v South Shields or Southport
Royston Town v Hednesford Town or Chester
Solihull Moors or Darlington v Harrogate Town
Yeovil Town v Tonbridge Angels or Hampton & Richmond Borough
Ebbsfleet United v King’s Lynn Town
Bradford (Park Avenue) or Halesowen Town v Maidenhead United
Notts County v Sutton United or Dagenham & Redbridge
Chelmsford City v Eastbourne Borough or Salisbury
Torquay United v FC Halifax Town
Eastleigh v Matlock Town or Chorley
Concord Rangers v Bath City or Sholing
Farsley Celtic or Altrincham v Barnet
Hornchurch v Carshalton Athletic or Aveley
Atherton Colleries or Barrow v FC United of Manchester