Yeovil Town play for the second time in three days as FC Halifax Town visit Huish Park.
Following victory against Wealdstone on Saturday, Town will go into the Bank Holiday fixture full of confidence.
Play-off hopefuls Halifax will be hoping to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Stockport, a game which former Glover Paddy Madden netted the only goal of the game.
FC Halifax Town succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Stockport County at The Shay.
A late first-half strike from Paddy Madden proved to be the deciding factor in a closely contested encounter.
The first half was one of limited clear-cut chances as both sides seemed to cancel each other out. A 5th minute shot from the edge of the box by Tom Walker was well blocked by Nathan Clarke, with the striker also heading wide after a good cross from Macauley Southam-Hales in the 17th minute.
It took a while for Halifax to craft their first opportunity of the game, but when they did, they came close. On the half an hour mark, a well delivered corner on the right from Martin Woods was met by the head of Nathan Clarke, with the Skipper heading narrowly over the crossbar.
The Shaymen came closest to an opening goal in the 36th minute. A lofted long ball from the left was met by the head of Kieran Green, laying it off perfectly for Jake Hyde, who fired just over the bar on the volley.
Although Town had been growing into the game as the half went on, Stockport had their lead on the stroke of half-time. An attempted headed clearance from Niall Maher deflected into the path of striker Paddy Madden, who picked up the ball just inside the area and fired the ball past Sam Johnson.
That was to be the last of the action in the first half, with The Hatters going into the break with a 1-0 lead.
As the match wore on, The Shaymen began to craft more opportunities, despite a resolute defensive performance from the visitors. In the 57th minute, a flick on Danny Williams header nearly found Jake Hyde who was bearing down on goal, but the striker couldn’t quite get on the end of it. Minutes later, a Jack Senior ball into the box was flicked on by Clarke but again the chance petered out.
Stockport did threaten on the counterattack despite a spell of Shaymen pressure. The ball was picked up 25 yards out by John Rooney, who unleashed a powerful effort towards the goal that came close, going just over the bar.
The best chance of the second half for the Shaymen came in the 67th minute. A well-timed through ball from Kieran Green picked out the advancing Jamie Allen on the right, who had time and managed to get a good shot away but was denied by a good stop from keeper Ben Hinchcliffe, a let off for Stockport.
The visitors came close to doubling their lead in the 78th minute when a James Jennings cross was met by the head of defender Ashley Palmer, who directed his header goalwards but was prevented from scoring by a brilliant diving save by Sam Johnson, keeping The Shaymen within reach of an equaliser.
After a spell where the game became more of a midfield battle, Town started to put the visitors on the back foot as the game entered its closing stages. A Neill Byrne effort in the 88th minute was seen over the crossbar by the keeper, before a shot from Jake Hyde was well blocked inside the area, preventing the striker from testing Ben Hinchcliffe.
In the end, however, the Stockport defence held strong, and it finished FC Halifax Town 0-1 Stockport County.
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Previous Encounter/Blast from the Past
Ten-man Yeovil Town battled to a deserved 2-0 victory over FC Halifax Town.
Courtney Duffus’ double was enough to ensure Town returned to winning ways at Huish Park.
After Gold Omotayo’s early red card Glovers fans would have been forgiven for fearing the worst
However, the resilient green and whites would come out the victors with a memorable team performance.
Darren Sarll was forced into a number of changes due to suspensions and injuries ravaging his squad.
Following their loan signing, Morgan Williams and Gabriel Osho partnered each other at centre back, with Carl Dickinson returning to captain the side.
There also were returns for Chris Dagnall and Omotayo in the forward line as Jimmy Smith picked up an injury and Rhys Murphy being unable to attend due to personal matters.
Omotayo’s return to the side only lasted seven minutes as the tall forward was sent off for an alleged stamp on Jeff King.
The sending off didn’t dishearten the Glovers as chances continued to fall. Duffus went close in the 15th minute after some great work from Myles Hippolyte, the striker’s first time skewed wide of the mark.
Halifax did apply some pressure but couldn’t fashion anything clear cut as Town’s new centre half partnership Osho and Williams stood strong.
Charlie Lee also went close for Yeovil, after a well worked set-piece routine, the midfielder’s effort fell straight into Sam Johnson’s gloves.
In what was a outstanding team performance, Duffus finished off a brilliant team goal. After a driving run from Hippolyte, the midfielder then played the ball to Dagnall in the box, the former Bury man then beautifully found Duffus with a well-weighted cross, for the striker to head the green and whites into the lead.
The lead could have been doubled just minutes later as Lawson D’Ath played through Dagnall with a lofted pass, but his half-volley was placed narrowly wide.
At the break, Yeovil held a deserved lead, despite being a man down.
The visitors began the second half on-top, forcing the play onto the Yeovil backline but struggling to create anything clear-cut.
The Shaymen thought they had found a way in behind in the 53rd minute but a stunning challenge from Osho put an end to the attack.
Tempers came to a boil as the game became more of a battle, leading to a member of Halifax’s coaching staff being booked.
Despite late pressure from the visitors, it would be Yeovil who scored the second and final goal of the game. With everyone forward, Duffus capitalised on the lack of numbers defending, calmly slotting past Sam Johnson to secure a vital win.
Victory takes the green and whites up to third in the National League, chasing Barrow and Bromley in the places above them.
Yeovil Town: Nelson; Dickinson, Osho, Williams, Skendi; Lee, D’Ath, Hippolyte; Dagnall, Omotayo (Sent off- straight red), Duffus (Worthington).
Bookings: Lee, Nelson.
Subs not used: Rogers, Tilley, Ojo
Ball Sponsor – Howdens Joinery
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A club reborn just 11 years ago, F.C. Halifax Town was formed to replace Halifax Town A.F.C following its expulsion from English football. The original club competed for almost 100 years before succumbing to administration and was dissolved in 2008. The new club began in the Northern Premier League Division One North and has achieved four promotions since, finding the team just one step away from the Football League.
Since the reformation of the Shaymen, the closest the West Yorkshire club has come to the Football League is a playoff finish in 2013/14, losing to Cambridge United in the semi-final. However, they may have another chance to reach the promise land this season, as they currently occupy 5th place in the National League with only five games remaining.
Town come to Huish Park having lost two of their last three matches, with defeats against fellow playoff hopefuls Bromley and Stockport County. Pete Wild’s side have registered 17 wins this term, including impressive wins against Torquay, Notts County and Chesterfield. The Glovers can take confidence from Halifax’s defensive record, with the Shaymen having conceded 47 goals from 37 matches, the second highest of the teams sat in the top 12.
Star Man – Jake Hyde
Leading marksman Hyde has enjoyed his time at Halifax to date, having already plummeted 10 goals so far this season in the National League.
Hyde has played for a number of clubs such as Barnet, Stevenage, Dundee, and York just to name a few. Hyde has a good goal scoring record at all the clubs he has featured for, ending up as the top-scorer Barnet for two seasons in succession and for York for one campaign. More recently, Hyde spent two productive seasons at Woking, scoring 31 goals in 73 appearances for the Cards.
After bagging 16 goals for Woking last season, it is safe to say he is a player who knows where the net is. This led him to join Halifax in August 2020 on a two-year deal. The former England C international has scored some vital goals in the clubs rise towards the playoffs, including three in his last five matches.