Heath expecting stern test

13 May 2017.......    Halifax Town v Choley National Conference North Play-off Final at the MSI Shay stadium Halifax. 'Town manager Billy Heath. Picture Tony Johnson.
13 May 2017....... Halifax Town v Choley National Conference North Play-off Final at the MSI Shay stadium Halifax. 'Town manager Billy Heath. Picture Tony Johnson.

FC Halifax Town boss Billy Heath has warned his players that tomorrow’s home game with strugglers Chester (3.0) will be as tough as any so far this season.

Halifax go into the match on the back of a morale-boosting 1-0 win at Aldershot last time out, while Chester have recorded back-to-back wins for the first time in a year.

Their overall form of just four wins all season and one away win all campaign suggests Town could be in for a comfortable afternoon - a notion Heath rejected.

“In this league it means nothing,” he said. “The Chester game will probably be even tougher than Aldershot was.

“Everybody’s fighting for something, whether they’re at the top, the middle or the bottom.

“This league is hugely competitive. There’s not a lot between any of the teams from top to bottom.

“It’s fine margins and big moments in games, as we found out against Eastleigh and Barrow at home.

“Regardless of their form or how many games they’ve won away, it will be as tough as any game we’ve had.

“You have to be at it every single game.”

Asked if the Aldershot game had highlighted the importance of his team getting the first goal, Heath said: “Massively. This has been our problem.

“We totally dominated against Barrow, played really well against Eastleigh, but we didn’t get the first goal.

“Once we got the first goal against Aldershot we grew in stature.”

Town haven’t played since that win at Aldershot two weeks ago, with their home FA Trophy clash against Macclesfield postponed twice.

Heath said: “It’s given us more rest time and a chance for people to recover from knocks, such as Danny Clarke.

“He wasn’t in the squad on Tuesday, neither was Connor Oliver who picked an injury up last Thursday.

“We are getting people back now, and it was good to have decent numbers available on Tuesday.

“Danny Clarke will definitely be in contention on Saturday. I think it might be a bit too early for Connor but we’ll see.

“He’s made really good progress since last Thursday though.”

Michael Duckworth is expected to be involved in the matchday squad, having not played in nearly four months, but Matty Kosylo and Nathan Hotte are both said to be a couple of weeks away from a return to fitness.

Heath said he was hoping to bring in another new signing, probably a loan player and possibly from a fellow National League club.

“We’re still trying to get another player in because it’s a busy, busy period,” added the Town boss.

“It’s more problematic for the teams with the smaller squads. It’s a tough time of the year and we’ve got a tough period when you think we’ve got Dover, Macclesfield and Chester.

“But that’s what you’ve got to deal with.

“The win at Aldershot was a massive boost for us. Every single player was unbelievable, it was a fantastic effort.”