Town chase a double in Kent

FC Halifax Town v Chester at the Shay. Sean Tuton
FC Halifax Town v Chester at the Shay. Sean Tuton

A long trip to play in-form opponents on an artificial pitch holds no terrors for FC Halifax Town at Bromley on Saturday (3.0).

The Shaymen have their healthiest squad for some time - supplemented by the recent return of Shaun Tuton on loan - and are eager to get back into action after an unexpected fortnight’s break.

Town’s home game against Leyton Orient last Saturday fell victim to the weather, denying Billy Heath’s men a chance to atone for their 4-1 FA Trophy defeat to Maidenhead the previous week.

Town will be on the double trail having already beaten Bromley this season,

Heath’s side were 2-1 winners at the Shay on September 23 in spite of having Scott Garner dismissed at the end of the first half. Goals from Matty Kosylo and Tom Denton gave them victory.

The Kent side have done well since then and lie eighth in the table, nine places above the Shaymen, and have won three of their last four games.

However, Neil Smith’s Ravens have a surprisingly modest record on their own pitch with only three successes in their last 10 outings.

Heath said: “It is going to be another tough game but we are looking forward to it.

“Last time out we were disappointing, so we are hoping to get back to winning ways.

“The game is on a plastic pitch but we have done OK on plastic, especially last season.”

Heath expects Bromley to be tough nuts to crack.

“They are in a good position in the league and will be looking at the play-offs. They had a good result against Torquay last week (4-0 away).”

However, Heath believes his men can climb away from the Vanarama National League’s danger zone with the players at his disposal.

He said: “We have men back now. The squad is in a healthier position than for a number of months, so hopefully we can start moving up the table.

“We have a 19 man squad and 18 of them to choose from. For the first time in a long, long while we have competition for places.”

Heath confirmed that striker Tuton would be involved tomorrow, following his return to the Shay on loan from Barnsley until the end of the season, and is keen to see him in action.

“I wasn’t here the last time that he was at the club but I did try to sign him before he came to Halifax for the first time when he was at Buxton, so I know all about him.

“I have been looking at him for quite a while now and I’m pleased we finally got him.”

Meanwhile, Heath has dismissed criticism from some fans over the sudden postponement of the Orient game.

He said: “There is nothing we can do about cold weather. The cold snap came very quickly. At 5.30pm on Friday the pitch was playable.

“What happened happened. But it has given people extra time to recover and train and get up to speed.”

Heath revealed that he had “two irons in the fire” regarding potential recruits but did not expect any news before the weekend.