Torquay United v FC Halifax Town preview

FC Halifax Town v Torquay at The MBI Shay Stadium. Nathan Clarke.
FC Halifax Town v Torquay at The MBI Shay Stadium. Nathan Clarke.

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