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National League | Gameweek 35
Mar 20, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
The Shay Stadium

4 - 2

Harker (33', 39'), Oluwabori (45+3'), Cosgrove (66')
Golden (28'), Senior (85'), Harker (89')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Grigg (32'), Berry (78')
Dobra (50'), Grigg (90')

Preview: Halifax Town vs. Chesterfield - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Halifax Town vs. Chesterfield - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's National League clash between Halifax Town and Chesterfield, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

With the chance to seal the National League title, Chesterfield will travel to The Shay to take on Halifax Town on Wednesday.

A point would see the visitors move out of reach at the top of the table with six games to spare, while their hosts will bid to crash the playoff places following consecutive wins.

Match preview

Halifax Town return to The Shay on Wednesday with the aim of extending an impressive run of form in their National League playoff pursuit.

Following a six-match winless streak, culminating in three straight defeats between late January and early February, Chris Millington's side looked to be confined to a mid-table finish with 41 points on the board from 31 matches, but they have since reversed their fortunes in style and established themselves in the playoff fight.

Heading into Wednesday's contest as one of the division's form sides, the Shaymen have won six of their last seven games in England's fifth tier, firstly recording consecutive triumphs over Dorking Wanderers, Maidenhead United, Woking and Dagenham & Redbridge, before seeing their momentum briefly halted in a 2-0 defeat away at high-flying Bromley.

They would quickly bounce back to winning ways by beating Boreham Wood 2-1 on home turf, thanks to goals from Florent Hoti and Luke Summerfield, before most recently travelling to take on Oxford City on Sunday and prevailing in a 2-0 triumph as Robert Harker and Andrew Oluwabori both found the net in a three-minute period before the half-hour mark.

Having now climbed up to ninth spot and moved within a single point of Gateshead in the final playoff place with eight matches to go and two behind sixth-placed Altrincham with a game in hand, Halifax have certainly put themselves in a strong position in the top-seven fight ahead of the run-in and will bid to move into the playoff places with a third straight win and a seventh in eight games on Wednesday.

That will be no easy task, though, as the leaders travel to The Shay with their sights set on securing the league title on Wednesday.

After only missing out on promotion to League Two in a penalty shootout in the playoff final last term, Chesterfield have enjoyed a historic campaign in their bid to climb back up to England's fourth tier, sitting at the top of the National League for almost the entirety of the season having amassed 92 points from their 39 games thus far.

Of those games, Paul Cook's side have managed 25 wins, including 11 in a 12-match span between late November and early February to move out of sight at the summit, before facing a slightly tougher run in the following weeks with a 2-0 win away at second-placed Barnet being the only three-point haul in a five-game stretch.

The Spireites would bounce back from that uncharacteristically slow run with a pair of home wins over Fylde and Oxford City earlier in March, with Armando Dobra, Mike Jones, Will Grigg and Ash Palmer on the scoresheet in a 4-1 triumph in the former and Grigg and Tom Naylor firing them to a 2-0 triumph over Oxford, before they most recently took another step towards the title with a 2-2 draw away at Oldham Athletic at the weekend.

After going 2-0 down at Boundary Park, Cook's men forced a share of the spoils thanks to goals from Bailey Hobson and Joe Quigley, and now boasting a 24-point lead over Barnet who have eight games to play, Chesterfield head to Halifax knowing their next point will guarantee them the title and a climb back to League Two next term.

Halifax Town National League form:

Chesterfield National League form:

Team News

After making it back-to-back wins at the weekend, Halifax Town may be unchanged on Wednesday, with Adam Senior and Jamie Stott bound to continue at the heart of a back four after seeing out another clean sheet.

Ahead of them, Kane Thompson-Sommers, Florent Hoti and Luke Summerfield could continue in a midfield trio, having all been preferred over mainstay Jack Hunter last time out, while Robert Harker will again lead the line with support from wingers Max Wright and Andrew Oluwabori.

Paul Cook may opt to make several changes to his Chesterfield starting XI on Wednesday, after midfielder Ollie Banks, wingers Armando Dobra and Liam Mandeville and forward Will Grigg were all reduced to the bench against Oldham Athletic at the weekend.

Sheffield United loanee Miguel Freckleton remains their only enforced absentee through injury, meaning Ryheem Sheckleford, Jamie Grimes, Ash Palmer and Branden Horton should again line up in a back four.

Grigg should return and lead the line, having netted 23 league goals so far this term, while midfielder Tom Naylor and winger Dobra have contributed 12 and 10 of their own respectively, and Bailey Hobson will fight to again start in an advanced role having scored in his full debut on Saturday.

Halifax Town possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Golden, Stott, Senior, Evans; Thompson-Sommers, Summerfield, Hoti; Wright, Harker, Oluwabori

Chesterfield possible starting lineup:
Tyrer; Sheckleford, Grimes, Palmer, Horton; Banks, Naylor; Mandeville, Hobson, Dobra; Grigg

We say: Halifax Town 1-2 Chesterfield

A Halifax Town side playing at their best with plenty of momentum will certainly pose a tough test for the league-leading Spireites, but with the title within reach and superior quality throughout their squad, we back Cook's men to get over the line and lift the trophy at The Shay.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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