Matchday 21 is upon the Coasters in the National League, and it’s a trip to FC Halifax Town that awaits the Coasters.

Two league defeats in a row have Chris Beech’s men purring to pick up their next three points, which could some at the expense of an in-form FC Halifax Town side, who we take a quick look at in our preview.  

The Lowdown

The Coasters come into this clash with Yorkshire rivals FC Halifax Town looking to turn their recent form around and gain a first win in four games.

Last time out, the Coasters were defeated 1-0 away to Bromley FC, which saw a game of two halves. Theo Richardson kept the Coasters in the game throughout the first 45, but the Coasters could have stolen a point in the second half.

Youngster Danny Ormerod came on for his debut at the weekend and impressed quite a bit, almost setting up Jon Ustabasi for the equaliser.

Halifax continued their fine home form at the weekend with a 1-0 win over Wealdstone, which sees them sit just inside the playoffs.

With the Coasters’ form being inconsistent and Halifax’s solid home form, the Coasters will have to be at their best to come away with a positive result. 

The Manager: Chris Millington

Millington may not be the most well-known manager in the National League – however, he has done well with a limited budget in a small amount of time. Millington made a name for himself throughout his playing career with Crewe and York before he started his coaching career at Altrincham. 

He found his craft starting with the youth teams and enjoying good runs in the FA Youth Cup but never got the chance to be a first-team manager. From Altrincham, Millington moved across Manchester to Stockport and joined their youth setup, where he once again developed players to the first team and enjoyed some success.

After a brief spell in Croatia, Millington joined the Oldham setup with Pete Wild. The pair enjoyed a caretaker period in charge of the club, which saw them win eight out of 17 games whilst also winning a tie against Premier League side Fulham in the FA Cup. 

In 2019, the pair joined Halifax and helped shape the Shaymen into what they are today. An FA Trophy win, as well as playoff finishes, has inspired the Halifax fanbase, and a return to the Football League could be on the cards sooner rather than later.

Key Players

Jordan Keane – A vital defender for the Shaymen, who is a noticeable miss when not playing. The stats show that the Shaymen have won more games when Keane is playing.

Sam Johnson – Johnson has become a legend for the Shaymen over the past few years, making over 300 appearances and earning the captaincy. An experienced shot-stopper who, when paired with Keane, racks up a lot of clean sheets.

Luke Summerfield – The Man in the middle who does all the dirty work and keeps Halifax ticking without a complaint. Workman-like in his style and attitude to play, Summerfield is a key component in the defensive aspect.

Past Meetings

27 August 2016 – AFC Fylde 3-2 FC Halifax Town – National League North

Goalscorers: Fylde – Caspar Hughes, Bohan Dixon & Daniel Hone (OG)

FC Halifax Town – Tom Denton & Daniel Hone

14 April 2017 – FC Halifax Town 0-1 AFC Fylde – National League North

Goalscorer: Fylde – Danny Rowe

2 September 2017 – FC Halifax Town 2-1 AFC Fylde – National League

Goalscorers: FC Halifax Town – Tom Denton (X2)  

Fylde – Danny Rowe

30 March 2018 – AFC Fylde 2-0 FC Halifax Town – National League 

Goalscorers: Fylde – James Hardy & Jonny Smith

25 September 2018 – FC Halifax Town 0-0 AFC Fylde – National League

27 April 2019 – AFC Fylde 0-2 FC Halifax Town – National League 

Goalscorers: FC Halifax Town – Arlen Birch (OG) & Matty Brown

24 August 2019 – FC Halifax Town 4-1 AFC Fylde – National League

Goalscorers: FC Halifax Town – Liam Mcalinden, Tobi sho-silva, Cameron King & Jerome Williams

Fylde – Danny Rowe

Opposition Form

The Shaymen seem to be a team that grinds other sides down while getting results. They have the best defence in the division by some way, and that is showing with their position in the league table. 

A goalscorer may be on the cards for Chris Millington as his team almost has the worst attacking record bar Kidderminster. However, stats mean nothing when it’s about getting results, and the Shaymen are currently doing that in abundance.

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson.