Who do FC Halifax Town meet in the National League play-offs and when?

FC Halifax Town had to settle for fourth place in the National League after losing 2-0 at champions Stockport.

Third place, and a pass into the play-off semi-finals, was still a possibility going into the last day though, but Paddy Madden’s early opener and Will Collar’s second-half goal gave County a deserved and comfortable win to ensure they took the title.

The Shaymen will now host Chesterfield on Tuesday, May 24.

Town switched to a 3-5-2 formation, bringing back Niall Maher and Jack Senior.

Halifax Town's Niall Maher (left) and Stockport County's Paddy Madden battle for the ball (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)Halifax Town's Niall Maher (left) and Stockport County's Paddy Madden battle for the ball (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)
Halifax Town's Niall Maher (left) and Stockport County's Paddy Madden battle for the ball (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)
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But if it was an attempt to curb the hosts’ enthusiasm and dampen the party atmosphere, County’s goal machine Madden soon saw to that.

The striker got half a yard of space on the edge of the box, turned and fired a superb low finish across goal past Sam Johnson into the opposite corner for his 25th goal of the season. Edgeley Park erupted.

Madden hit the bar midway through the opening half after Sam Johnson parried a corner to him 15 yards out. It wasn’t relentless pressure but Stockport were suffocating Town with a performance of composure and control.

An error at the back by County’s Jordan Kean gifted Billy Waters a sight of goal - Town’s first after half-an-hour - but he fired across goal and wide from the left of the box.

Stockport County's Zaine Francis-Angol (right) and Halifax Town's Jordan Slew battle for the ball  (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)Stockport County's Zaine Francis-Angol (right) and Halifax Town's Jordan Slew battle for the ball  (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)
Stockport County's Zaine Francis-Angol (right) and Halifax Town's Jordan Slew battle for the ball (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA)
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Johnson tipped over Andy Cannon’s effort from range a few minutes before the break as Halifax continued to be second best. Coupled with Solihull winning 2-0 at Boreham Wood, third place was quickly disappearing from view.

And it all but disappeared when Collar blasted home the rebound after Cannon’s shot from range was parried by Johnson.

The Shaymen had seen more of the ball in the second-half but hadn’t done enough with it.

This was Stockport’s day. It can only be hoped Halifax still have theirs to come.

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Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Palmer, Keane (Ryan Johnson 60), Francis-Angol (Whitfield 83), Cannon (Crankshaw 79), Collar, Croasdale, Newby, Hippolyte, Sarcevic, Madden. Unused substitutes: Ashby-Hammond, C Jennings.

FC Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Senior, Bird (Stenson 69), Maher, Woods (Gilmour 35), Spence (Thomas 86), Debrah,Warburton,Slew, Waters. Unused substitutes: Benn, Swaby-Neavin.

Referee: M Dicicco (England).

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