Halifax Town have dropped off the pace since the turn of the year, and now manager Pete Wild and his men must make up ground if they are to reach the National League playoffs. Wild will have his own methods on how he wants things done at Halifax, but looking across Yorkshire at Harrogate Town and their recent success could do the Shaymen no harm.
A Slow Start to 2021
Halifax were building a good head of steam towards the end of last year, with Wild’s side impressing during the busy festive period. Five wins and two defeats in December saw the side climb up the National League standings, but since the start of 2021, it has been a different story.
The year started with a frustrating stalemate at strugglers King’s Lynn Town, before a 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Southport in the FA Trophy. A win at Bromley proved to be the only win in four outings in January for the Shaymen, and saw them slump down to 12th place in the table after their first 20 league games.
With just one clean sheet in their last 10 league matches, a porous defence is just one issue Wild is being forced to address at present. More encouragingly, goals have not been a problem for Halifax this season, having found the back of the net 32 times in those 20 outings.
Harrogate Showing the Way
Across the county, Harrogate are now enjoying life in the Football League for the first time in their history. The Sulphurites are holding their own in League Two and are 12/1 with bet365 in the football betting to finish in the top seven this season. It’s exactly the place Halifax would dream to be, and what Wild and his players are working tirelessly towards.
Halifax have already proved they can put together a winning run as they did in December and will be hoping they can once again reach the post regular season action. The Shaymen suffered playoff heartbreak at Boreham Wood last term with a 2-1 defeat in the quarter-finals, and will have since learned from the negative experience.
Like Halifax this term, Harrogate were prolific in front of goal, with only champions Barrow scoring more goals in the regular campaign. The goals have been shared about amongst the Halifax squad this season, which can also be considered a positive. Forwards Jake Hyde and Jamie Allen have a handful of goals between them, while in midfield Jack Earing and Martin Woods have also been chipping in. Not relying on one-star men, who could get injured or drop out of form, should stand the Shaymen in good stead.If Halifax can start to earn more clean sheets over the coming months, the wins should follow, and perhaps help secure a chance of redemption in the playoffs later this season.