The FA Cup reaches the final round of qualifiers and the as the biggest teams in Non-League Football enter the fray in the 4th Qualifying Round and the games don’t come much bigger than Saturday’s clash between F.C. Halifax Town who stand at the top of the National League and their fellow Yorkshiremen Harrogate Town A.F.C.. (Kick off Saturday at 3.00pm).
Halifax are clinging on to their top spot on goal difference from Bromley and last week suffered a disappointing 2-0 home defeat to mid-table outfit Boreham Wood F.C..
In contrast Harrogate are starting to find their feet after an indifferent start to the season have picked up momentum and have won their previous three games, although the last win away at Yeovil brought a negative reaction in the press as the Glovers manager Darren Sarll cited ‘spoiling tactics’ from Town as the reason for the result at Huish Park!
Those comments will have little effect on Harrogate Town as they will look to deploy the same approach at another difficult venue at The Shay in front of a large expectant crowd.
Key Points About The Match
A key factor in this match and perhaps from the bench could be experienced striker Jon Stead, who is now with The Sulphurites following a distinguished career, playing for numerous clubs including Blackburn Rovers F.C. and Sunderland A.F.C. in the Premier League and representing England at Under-21 level.
Harrogate who have never played in the Football League since their best ever run in the FA Cup came in the 2012-13 season, when they lost on penalties to Hastings United F.C. in the second round, following an impressive win against Torquay United F.C. in the previous round.
F.C. Halifax Town, previously Halifax Town A.F.C. until the club was re-named 2008 after debts forced the club to re-form and join the Northern Premier League; however the first guise of the club had some memorable FA Cup moments down the years.
The club twice made the fifth round of the competition, playing Luton Town in 1932-33 and Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in 1952-53 in front of almost 36,000 supporters at the Shay, however perhaps the club’s most memorable achievement came in 1980 when Halifax dumped Malcom Allison’s big spending Manchester City F.C. out of the cup, winning 1-0 at the Shay in the Third Round. Halifax striker, Paul Hendrie, once of Portland Timbers grabbed the famous goal, while the manager that day, George Kirby also had a connection to the United States as he had played for New York Generals who only existed for 2 seasons, 1967 and 1968.
FC Halifax vs Harrogate Town Prediction
The history above although interesting will have no relevance on Saturday’s result and my prediction is a 1-1 draw with Harrogate to go through via a replay.