Just ahead of turning our attention towards the Emirates FA Cup, the visit of FC Halifax Town this Saturday recalls last season’s competition as they return almost a year on from what was then a First Round shock. Fleet will aim for a similar result in the league as the two clubs meet on equal ground.
The Fleet will look to build on last weekend’s home display against Boreham Wood to shake off the disappointment of the Tuesday night reverse at Eastleigh where the reds had taken the lead and looked good value for it until the Spitfires’ turned the screw after their equaliser.
Throughout the season, Halifax have picked up four wins compared to the Fleet’s five but the Shaymen have added six draws to boost that points tally. Halifax travelled to Woking on Tuesday evening where a last-gasp winner from Tylor Golden secured a very good away win to jump them up to 12th in the National League table. The Fleet sit 15th, just two points behind the Shaymen and four off the play-off positions.
Head to head
The Fleet hosted Halifax last season as mentioned with goals from Toby Edser and Rakish Bingham sending their side into the second round for the first time in 19 years. There might not be quite such history attached to Saturday’s match, but the three points will be just as warmly welcomed.
Another notable exchange between the two sides was back in 2020 when we travelled to The Shay for the final match before lockdown struck. Live on BT Sport, it became the only match televised across Western Europe and the final fix of football saw Fleet claim the three points with Gozie Ugwu scoring the only goal. Fleet have a good record against the Shaymen, with five wins to their one since they reformed after the troubles of the old Halifax Town.
Keeper and captain Sam Johnson has played 277 times since his debut back in 2017. The loyal No.1 stood between the posts when the Fleet were last in the National League. In front of him, defender Adam Senior joined initially on loan from Bolton last season before making the move permanent this summer. The 21-year-old has made eight appearances this season and scored twice so far.
Former Newcastle youth player Jack Hunter signed for the Shaymen following promotion with Gateshead in 2022. He is one of a number of players who has featured in every match in the campaign so far.
Though Halifax average a low one-goal-per-match, Rob Harker has three to his name as he closes in on the 50-match milestone since signing last summer and has scored 11 in total.
Halifax have struggled for goals this season, although they have managed four in their last two matches. Young striker Justin Iwobi has joined from Stoke on loan but has yet to feature.
Chris Millington was in the dugout during last seasons FA Cup tie, having been appointed only five months prior. Having previously spent his time as an assistant at Halifax for three years, Millington took charge in May 2022. Despite previous spells with Oldham’s first team and youth team, FC Halifax Town is Millington’s first managerial role. He guided the club to their second FA Trophy success in May.
Tickets can be bought here online until kick-off (the match is segregated so please select HOME or AWAY options as necessary) and also on the day at our ticket windows. Car-parking is available for the special matchday price of £3 at Ebbsfleet International Car Park C. Programmes can be pre ordered online with your ticket or from our online shop here. In the ground, you can purchase in the club shop, just past the main home turnstiles, at the Plough End social club and for away fans in the Old Sponsors Lounge/portakabin bar.
Supporters are reminded that alcohol will not be permitted to be consumed within view of the pitch and that matches will be segregated as required at the Swanscombe End (or the far end of it). Please cooperate with the instructions of our security team and stewards.
Turnstiles open at 1pm.