The month of April heralds do or die time for many clubs in the Vanarama National League and for both Wood and Halifax that is certainly the case. This tie, the stand out of the evening features two sides locked in a relegation battle that is so close that one win could free the shackles, boost the confidence and steer a team to safety.
A glance at the table turns into an analytical hour of staring into the fortune tellers ball, crunching numbers and daring to dream.
That is precisely what Tuesday night is all about when the Wood side get back on the bus and head to West Yorkshire to visit The Shay for the first time in their history. Up until the latter part of November the club that rose from the ashes of its former self’s demise were surprisingly sitting rock bottom of the table and staring into the abyss. Their season started badly when a visit to Meadow Park ended with a 3-1 win for Wood, with Ricky Shakes and Jamie Lucas among the scorers on the day. That run of form continued for the Shaymen, who were on the wrong end of seven goal salvos from both Cheltenham Town and Grimsby before Jim Harvey’s acceptance of a Managerial role was made permanent after a complete turn around in form.
The Northern Irish midfielder playing days spanned over five hundred games , the majority of those for Hereford United and Tranmere Rovers before his career in management started with a nine year tenure at Morecambe. Spells in charge at Forest Green Rovers, Chester and Stalybridge Celtic followed.
His arrival at The Shay resulted in the side, who had won just one of their last fifteen matches recording a 4-1 victory on the road at Gateshead, their best result of the season. Another four goal haul, this time at home to Dover Athletic a week later confirmed one of the greatest turn around’s seen in National League football. Ten further games unbeaten plus a run in the F A Trophy all the way to the Final at Wembley, a feat that the original club from which F C Halifax Town sprung just six years ago never managed in one hundred years, brings us to today.
Halifax sit just one point below Wood, but have two games in hand. The prospect of a trip to Wembley may have had a bearing on recent results, with Town winning just one of their last five matches. The consequences of the outcome of this tie are putting it mildly, huge.
Jordan Burrow is the danger man for the Shaymen, top scoring with thirteen goals since his arrival from Lincoln City at the start of the season.
Luke Garrard has just five matches left to secure his sides future in the Division. Goals have been a real problem, yet one which he looks to have overcome, with five coming in the last two games. There is no doubt that Wood’s survival may come down to their exceptional defensive record, their goal difference is on another level to those scrapping around the foot of the table. Yet the recent upturn in fortunes in front of goal is one that must continue should the finishing line be crossed in just three and a half weeks time.
It promises to be another edge of the seat affair this Tuesday night, before Wood face Southport at home this coming Saturday.
There are just a couple of seats left on the official travel club minibus. Should you wish to reserve a seat please contact Grant Morris on firstname.lastname@example.org
F C Halifax Town v Boreham Wood.
Tuesday April 8th, kick off 7.45pm.
The Mbi Shay Stadium,