Familiar foes present no shocks for Halifax

AS the two clubs who won promotion from arguably the most competitive National League North since the last major restructure of the football pyramid 13 years ago, FC Halifax Town and AFC Fylde are unlikely to face too many surprises today.

Halifax Town manager Billy Heath celebrates with supporters after last seasons play-off triumph (Picture: Tony Johnson).

This is the view of Billy Heath, whose team entertain the seaside club at The Shay looking to build on an impressive finish to August.

Halifax took seven points from their final three games of the month, keeping a trio of clean sheets in the process, to leave Heath’s men eagerly looking forward to taking on the side that came up as champions.

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“Fylde have brought a fair number of players in but they will play the same way,” said the Halifax chief. “The personnel has got better, but there will be no surprises.

“They have got a player (Danny Rowe) who scores a lot of goals. They play 4-3-3 – or 4-2-3-1, if you like. They also play with two wide players who are mobile and they have a recognised No 10. They like to play.”

Asked if Halifax would be adapting their own tactics to counter Fylde, Heath said: “Not really. We are at home and everyone knows how we play and the formations we use.

“There will be no surprises for them and no surprises for us. We won’t change our tactics for them. We will go about our business in the same way we have so far this season.”

The recent upturn in results followed a slow start to the campaign after winning promotion via the play-offs that saw Aldershot and Dover Athletic both leave The Shay with all three points, either side of goalless stalemates at Barrow and Chester.

Heath added: “We are on a nice little run so we need to keep it going. We are not getting carried away, but we need to take it on now. If we keep playing as well as we have, we will be fine.”

Winger Matty Kosylo will miss today’s game following his red card midway through the second half of Halifax’s goalless draw at Gateshead on Monday.

“He has been tremendous,” said the Shay chief when asked about Kosylo, the scorer of the first goal when Halifax beat Guiseley a week ago in front of the live BT Sport cameras. “He goes through everything he can to play for you, which is what you want as a manager.

“It is a big blow to lose him because he’s been fantastic. It took him the first couple of games to get used to the pace of it and how little time you have on the ball compared to the Conference North. But in the last few games he has been magnificent.”