Getting to know the opposition: FC Halifax Town

Sam Plummer takes an in-depth look as the Spireites host FC Halifax Town in the big game at the Technique Stadium.

Vanarama National League Record:

TeamWinsDrawsLossesGoals ForGoal AgainstPoints
FC Halifax Town1234311639

In a heavy weight clash at the top of the National League, Chesterfield FC’s final game of 2021 is the visit of second-placed FC Halifax Town to North Derbyshire on Tuesday afternoon (3pm).

The two sides come into this meeting with only goal difference separating them in the standings, with Chesterfield having a game in hand on their opponents. Three points in this clash would help extend the gap between the two clubs. 

As the year draws to an end, the Spireites will be put through their paces by coming up

against a side who have lost just once in their last seven league outings. Wins against play-off hopefuls Dagenham & Redbridge and National League titans in Torquay United have helped elevate the club into second place, where they currently sit at the top of the chasing pack.

Albeit a strong display in the league as of late, the Shaymen have struggled in the recent cup competitions after failing to beat lower league opposition. Firstly, with a 2-0 defeat to Vanarama National League North’s Kidderminster Harriers in the Emirates FA Cup, which meant that the club missed out on an opportunity to host Championship side Reading at The Shay Stadium. 

Whilst the club might be focusing on the league campaign, Halifax narrowly avoided embarrassment in the Buildbase FA Trophy, where they overcame the challenge of local rivals Bradford Park Avenue in a penalty shoot-out, after a six-goal stalemate during normal time. Irrespective of their qualification to the next round, the club went behind on three separate occasions during the game and needed a 94th minute equaliser from Tom Bradbury to send the game to a duel from the penalty spot.

The season so far: the comparison

Chesterfield ClubFC Halifax Town
1stTable Position2nd
2.00Goals per Game1.63
0.83Goals Conceded per Game0.84
10Clean Sheets9

Breaking down the individual statistics this season and it is Halifax forward Billy Waters who leads the charge in front of goal this season. The 27-year-old has hit a dry patch in form, having failed to score in his last three outings. However, Waters managed to score a brace and even collected two assists from the FA Cup tie against Maidenhead United, a game in which fans were spoiled to an 11 goal-thriller, with a 7-4 victory falling in favour of the West Yorkshire side. 

Elsewhere and only Jordan Slew, Matthew Warburton, and Kieran Green have managed to score more than one goal for the club this season. Despite Halifax so far relying on a select number of players to grab the goals this season, the quartet have found success in contributing 25 of Halifax’s 31 goals in the National League. 

In a similar fashion to Chesterfield, Halifax are difficult to break down. Peter Wild’s side have conceded the third least goals in the league this season (16), only one behind the Spireites, whilst third-placed Boreham Wood lead the way with only 13 goals being leaked. 

Although their defensive record is admirable, Halifax’s goalscoring record currently separates them from the rest of the top clubs in the league. Only four points sit between Notts County in seventh place and Chesterfield in first, meaning that goals scored could play a crucial role in how the campaign ends this season. With their reliance on a handful of players, Halifax currently sit fifth (out of those top seven sides) for goals scored. That is not to mention to likes of Stockport County, Dagenham & Redbridge and Altrincham, who have all managed to also score more goals than the Shaymen, despite sitting outside of the play-off spots. 

Chesterfield FCResultsFC Halifax TownResults
Grimsby Town (A)0-1 (W)Bradford PA (A)
FA Trophy Third Round
3-3 (D)
Pens 3-5 (W)
Salford City FC (A)
FA Cup Second Round
0-2 (W)King’s Lynn Town FC (H)2-0 (W)
Altrincham FC (H)2-2 (D)Wealdstone FC (A)0-1 (W)
Solihull Moors (A)0-2 (W)Kidderminster Harriers (A)
FA Cup Second Round
2-0 (L)
Weymouth (H)4-0 (W)Torquay United (A)2-3 (W)

In a festive period visit to North Derbyshire, FC Halifax Town take set for a 100-mile roundtrip from West Yorkshire, knowing that a win will lift the club into top spot, right in time for the New Year. 

In their 13-year existence, after replacing the formerly known Halifax Town AFC, the club rose through the divisions to find themselves back in the fifth tier of English football by 2017. Since returning to the National League, Halifax finished the first two years in 16th place, before rising to a sixth-placed finish last season. Finishing in the play-off spots last year, Halifax suffered defeat at the hands of Boreham Wood, to end the season with the same fate as Chesterfield. 

Shown by their previous league finishes, the club are on the rise. Much like the resurgence of Chesterfield, both clubs have every expectation and sense of belief that they can reach the Sky Bet League Two at the end of this season, with the upcoming clash at the Technique Stadium set to tell us all about the very nature of both sides’ promotion bids.