TT MATCH PREVIEW
Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: FC Halifax Town V Torquay United – National League
Venue: The Shay
Date: Saturday 21st November 2020
Current Form (last six – all competitions):
FC Halifax Town: D – D – D – L – L – D
Torquay United: W – W – W – W – L – D
FC Halifax: Jack Earing – 2
Torquay: Danny Wright – 6
Head to Head: (Halifax Town & FC Halifax Town)
Halifax: 22 Draw: 13 Torquay: 32
Last time the two teams met: Saturday 22nd February 2020, Torquay United 1 FC Halifax Town 0 – National League
Ade Azeez marked his second debut for Torquay United in style as he scored the winning goal for the Gulls against FC Halifax Town.
The Newport County loanee had previously enjoyed a loan spell with United in the 2013-14 season and he was in the right place at the right time in the second half to secure a hard fought win for the Gulls.
As both sides returned to action after seeing their previous fixtures wiped out by Storm Dennis, it was the Gulls who started brightest as Armani Little blasted over from 20-yards on four minutes after being teed up by the returning Azeez.
United were briefly down to ten men after Little went off with a suspected hamstring injury in the 21st minute, before he was eventually replaced by Jake Andrews. However, the Shaymen couldn’t quite build on their brief numerical advantage as Devante Rodney forced a routine save from Gulls keeper Lucas Covolan on 22 minutes.
Four minutes later, United’s Ben Whitfield cut inside from the right and attempted an audacious shot from 35-yards which narrowly dipped over.
Cameron King and Josh Staunton then both went close for the Shaymen before United had a penalty appeal waved away for a challenge on Azeez.
Halifax started the second half the stronger as Rodney had a shot deflected behind for a corner in the opening minute. From the resulting flag-kick from King, Niall Maher had a header tipped behind by Covolan.
However, it was United who managed to break the deadlock in the 68th minute when Asa Hall nodded a free-kick from Andrews towards goal which Sam Johnson parried away, but Azeez was connected with the rebound to mark his return to Plainmoor with a goal.
Deep in injury time the Shaymen almost levelled matters as substitute Jack Redshaw hit the bar and then saw his shot from the rebound blocked as the Gulls hung on to secure a valuable win.
Manager: Peter Wild
Former Oldham Athletic manager Peter Wild took charge of the Shaymen during the summer of 2019, following the resignation of Jamie Fullarton three weeks before the 2019-20 National League campaign got under way. Under his guidance, Halifax emerged as one of the surprise packages of the 2019-20 National League campaign, and reached the play-offs where they were beaten at the quarter final stage by Boreham Wood. A life-long Oldham fan, Wild had two caretaker spells in charge of the Latics; firstly in succession to Frankie Bunn and then Paul Scholes. Following Scholes’ departure, he took over on a permanent basis until the end of the 2018-19 season before resigning citing ‘personal reasons’.
One to watch: Sam Johnson
After first joining the Shaymen on loan from Port Vale in November 2015, Sam Johnson has established himself as one of the leading goalkeepers outside the EFL in recent years.
Johnson’s initial loan spell was the first of two spells that he spent with the club – during which time he lifted the FA Trophy in 2016. He returned for a second loan spell in the 2016-17 season, in which he helped the Shaymen win promotion from National League North.
After he was released by the Valiants in the summer of 2017, he joined Halifax on a permanent basis and has remained a fans favourite ever since. He also won the club’s player of the year award for the 2018-19 season.
Ben Wynter – Kyle Cameron – Sam Sherring – Dean Moxey
Aaron Nemane – Asa Hall – Jake Andrews- Ben Whitfield
FC Halifax Town (3-5-2)
Neil Byrne – Nathan Clarke – Tom Bradbury
Niall Maher – Luke Summerfield – Martin Woods – Kieran Green – Jack Senior
Jamie Allen – Jake Hyde
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Proud Away Sponsor of Kyle Cameron