FC HALIFAX PREVIEWS + CHRIS SMITH JOINS YORK
Halifax Town v Mansfield Town: Duo fit for cup clash
22 October 2010
TOWN boss Neil Aspin expects Jamie Vardy and Liam Hogan to be available for tomorrow's FA Cup fourth qualifying round clash with Conference outfit Mansfield at the Shay (3.0).
The duo have both been carrying injuries in recent weeks but got through the full 90 minutes of Tuesday's derby victory over Bradford Park Avenue - the Shaymen's 10th successive win in all competitions.
"Jamie did not seem to pick up any further injADVERTISEMENTuries on Tuesday," said Aspin. "He has had a problem with his heel and the top of his foot and any bangs on them make him a doubt.
"But he seemed to come through the Bradford match and there is no reason why he should not be available for tomorrow.
"Liam stiffened up again at half time but went out for the second half.
"I imagine the few days between the game will give the injury time to settle."
Aspin added that he expected everyone, bar Harry Winter who is still struggling to shake off a knee problem, to declare themselves fit for tomorrow's game.
"People don't want to miss any games, but they certainly don't want to miss games like this," said Aspin, who will be allowed to name up to seven substitutes.
"Only 11 can start, but it is not just about the 11, the whole squad have a part to play."
While the Shaymen are flying in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, having returned to the top of the table in midweek, Mansfield are suffering something of a dip in form with no wins in their last five Conference games.
But Aspin knows that his side will have to be at their best if they are to reach round one and a potential crack at a Football League side.
"Mansfield had a spell at the top of the table earlier in the season and are more than capable of doing well in the Conference," he said.
"We are not getting carried away with their recent form, although I would rather they came here this way round than on a winning streak.
"We have to bridge the gap between our league and theirs.
"We have to make sure we play the game at a good tempo because if we are off the pace or have an off day we are not going to win."
Town are expected to win games on a regular basis at Evo-Stik Premier level but will be in the unusual position of underdogs tomorrow.
As far as Aspin is concerned, that changes nothing.
"You get used to playing under pressure and that keeps you on your toes," he said. "I want to win games and while it will be difficult tomorrow I still want to win.
"There is possibly a little less pressure on us because we are not expected to win, but you want to show you are good player and the players in our squad want to prove they can do it at a higher level."
Mansfield have a number of former Town players in their squad, although it is not clear how many will feature tomorrow.
Midfielder Tyrone Thompson returned to the starting line-up for last week's game against Darlington at Field Mill but neither Kevin Sandwith nor Lee Gregory featured.
That game, in which Darlington bagged an equaliser in the seventh added minute, was watched by a crowd of 2,234 - a little over 200 more than watched the Shaymen's derby with Park Avenue.
Last season 2,843 turned up at the Shay to see Town narrowly lose to Wrexham and there were 3,152 for the One North title decider with Lancaster City in April.
That figure could well be eclipsed tomorrow.
Stags' Briscoe out to end FA Cup nightmare at Halifax
Evening Post, 22 Oct 2010
LOUIS Briscoe is determined to end his personal FA Cup nightmare when Mansfield Town visit FC Halifax tomorrow.
The Stags wide man has never won an FA Cup tie in four attempts.
Last year Mansfield beat Altrincham in the fourth qualifying round, but Briscoe did not play.
He was involved, however, as the Stags lost 2-1 in the subsequent first round proper replay against Forest Green.
Before that, Briscoe had experienced defeats with previous clubs Hednesford, Leek and Port Vale.
The 22-year-old knows it will not be easy to break his duck against a side riding high at the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
But he is hoping this is the year his fortunes change in the world's most famous knock-out competition.
"The FA Cup is where you can put yourself on the map as a player and as a team," said Briscoe.
"I was speaking to my dad about it the other day and saying that every time I play in it, we get knocked straight out.
"It's four or five games now that it's happened and it's not a great record.
"I'm not too worried about it but it would be nice to play and win at Halifax and put it to bed."
Briscoe appreciates the difficulty of Mansfield's task in West Yorkshire.
He said: "We are a big team in non-league circles there to be shot at. They have got a good stadium and fan base and some good quality players."
Defender Mark Preece will undergo surgery on a damaged knee sustained on loan at Eastwood Town.
Mansfield's game with Grimsby on Boxing Day has been moved to a 1pm kick-off. Their visit to Crawley has been switched from December 16 to 17 (7.45pm).
Spotlight on FC Halixa v Mansfield Town
FC Halifax Town (from): Hedge, Hardy, Hogan, Bower, Lowe, Taylor, Baker, Phelan, Vardy, Dean, Holland, Senior, Plummer, Riley, Garner, Metcalfe, Marshall, Gray.
Mansfield (from): Aksalu, Collett, Silk, Day, Grand, Cook Foster, Stonehouse, Sandwith, Briscoe, Cain, Murray, Nix, Thompson, Smith, Duffy, Connor, Medley, Gregory, Parker.
Team news: FC Halifax will be without midfielder Harry Winter who has a knee injury but otherwise hope to be at full strength.
Mansfield will welcome back Adam Smith after suspension and Rob Duffy (hamstring) is set to return after missing last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Darlington.
But Keigan Parker (foot) is struggling and could join long-term absentee Alan Marriott (groin) in the stands.
One to watch: Danny Holland. The strong, bustling former Eastwood and Hucknall striker scored his tenth goal of the season in Tuesday night's 1-0 win over local rivals Bradford Park Avenue.
Manager: Neil Aspin. Led Halifax to the UniBond Division One North title last season with 100 points and the Shaymen are top of the Evo-Stik Premier table this campaign having won their last ten league and cup matches
Stags must smash Shay runSponsored by
CHAD.co.uk, Thu Oct 21 2010
MANSFIELD Town must overcome FC Halifax Town's formidable home and current records on Saturday to progress to round one proper of the FA Cup.
Stags, without a win in five games, head for The Shay (3pm) where Halifax are unbeaten all this season and last.
The Shaymen are two leagues below Mansfield but top the Evo-Stick Premier Division and have just won 10 games on the bounce, scoring 30 times in those games, and are six game and 629 minutes without conceding a goal.
Stags boss David Holdsworth was at The Shay on Tuesday night to see their 1-0 win over Bradford Park Avenue and said: “They do have a good home record and we must make sure we don't offer them any invitations.
“They have some very exciting players and their fans are very vocal and a credit to them.
“We must go there in the right frame of mind and be positive.
“It is a fantastic set-up and they are very welcoming people. We are looking forward to the weekend.
“I want us to do well in the FA Cup. I want my lads to achieve as much as they can for the club and for the fans. It is a respite from the league and I want us to go as far as we can.”
Striker Keigan Parker, who has stitches in a foot wound, has suffered a setback with the injury which has had to be redressed this week.
However, Mansfield will welcome back star winger Adam Smith after a three-match ban and Holdsworth added: “We have certainly missed him.
“We have missed his athleticism and skill and the quality of his end product has been very good. Adam has been a very good signing for us.”
One man who won't be involved is namesake Chris Smith who today joined York City on loan for the rest of the season.
Smith began the season well but, after the side began leaking too many goals, Holdsworth has moved quickly to bring in three quality defenders in Rhys Day, Simon Grand and Steve Cook with all three in with a chance of figuring at Halifax.
The 29-year-old joins the Minstermen on an initial three month deal with a view to a permanent switch.?Smith has made 15 appearances for the Stags this season, scoring one goal, and is Gary Mills' first signing at Bootham Crescent.
Stags' Boxing Day match at home to Grimsby Town will now kick off at 1pm, the club has announced.?The game, which was originally scheduled to kick off at 3pm, has been brought forward following police advice.
22 Oct 2010
Chris Smith joins York City onloan for 3 months with a view to a permanent switch --->
Stags defender Smith moves on to York
Evening Post, 22 Oct 2010
DEFENDER Chris Smith has today left Mansfield Town to York City.
The centre back will join the Minstermen on loan until January and could eventually sign a deal for the rest of the season.
Smith, 29, signed for the Stags in the summer from fellow Blue Square Premier club Tamworth.
His move to Bootham Crescent will see him re-united with his former boss at The New Lamb, Gary Mills.
Smith has made 15 appearances for the Stags, scoring once in the 4-0 with over Eastbourne in September.
But he was left out of last weekend's 1-1 draw with Darlington and would have been likely to find his opportunities limited with the arrivals on loan of the likes of Rhys Day, Simon Grand and Steve Cook.
"Chris is a good lad and we wish him well at York," said Mansfield manager David Holdsworth.
Chris Smith re-signs for York
yorkcity-mad.co.uk, By Steve Jones, Thursday, 21st October 2010
York City have signed their former centre-back Chris Smith on a three-month loan from Mansfield Town with a view to a permanent deal.
Derby-born Smith originally left the Minstermen following their relegation to the Conference in May 2004 after completing more than 80 senior appearances at Bootham Crescent.
The 29-year-old has since had spells with Stafford Rangers and Worcester City before playing under York's new manager Gary Mills at Tamworth. He agreed a one-year contract with the Stags in July and has already made a dozen appearances for them.
Smith could go straight into the squad to face Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round at Aggborough Stadium this weekend.
"I'm sure he'll do well for us and I'm delighted to have him here," Mills told BBC Radio York. "He was my skipper at Tamworth for last season so I know all about Chris.
"I'm delighted to have him in to be honest," he added. "He's become available which surprised me. He's done superb at Mansfield. I've watched him a few times and I know how well he's been doing.
"Things have changed at Mansfield. They've had a big influx of money. They've
decided to get some more centre-halves in and he's become available."
Earlier this week Mills invited back released former winger David McDermott to the club, but has otherwise warned of imminent depatures in what he considers a much oversized squad.
Chris Smith returns to York City on loan from Mansfield
York City have signed Mansfield Town defender Chris Smith on loan until the end of the season, new boss Gary Mills' first signing for the Minstermen.
The 28-year-old joined the Stags on a one-year deal in the summer from Tamworth, where he played under Mills.
Smith left York in 2004 after a three-year spell and could make his return in Saturday's FA Cup tie at Kidderminster.
Mills told BBC Radio York: "I'm sure he'll do well for us and I'm delighted to have him here."
Former Reading trainee Smith also played for Stafford Rangers and Worcester City before linking up with Mills at Tamworth.
The new Minstermen boss added: "He was my skipper at Tamworth for last season so I know all about Chris.
"I'm delighted to have him in to be honest. He's become available which surprised me. He's done superb at Mansfield. I've watched him a few times and I know how well he's been doing.
"Things have changed at Mansfield. They've had a big influx of money. They've decided to get some more centre-halves in and he's become available."
Mills warned that although he has brought in Smith, he still feels that the squad is too big and some players are likely to be leaving Bootham Crescent.
"We have got too many and that's not being disrespectful to anybody we have," he said.
"I don't feel that it's healthy and for some players they need to get out there and play. You can't have people at York not playing week-in week-out and enjoying the life of a footballer.
"Yes, we have to have a big enough squad to cope with the rigours of this league.
"But also there's no point in me having bodies here just for the sake of it that I know, and possibly even they know, are not going to be involved or certainly not going to get in the XI on a Saturday afternoon. That's got to change."
Chris Smith reunited with former Tamworth boss Gary Mills after re-signing for York City
Friday 22nd October 2010
By Dave Flett »
YORK City manager Gary Mills has admitted he is surprised Mansfield Town have allowed him to bring centre-back Chris Smith back to Bootham Crescent.
Smith, who made 79 appearances for the Minstermen between 2001 and 2004 before being released following the club's relegation from the Football League, was an ever-present for the Stags prior to last weekend's 1-1 draw with Darlington.
But loan moves for Oxford United's Rhys Day and Simon Grand, from Fleetwood Town, have left Smith surplus to requirements at Field Mill, allowing Mills to snap up his services until the end of the season.
The former Leeds and Reading trainee is set to make his second debut for City in tomorrow's FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie at Kidderminster and the move sees Mills reunited with the defender he made captain at previous club Tamworth last season.
Smith, now 29, joined the Lambs in the summer of 2009 following spells with Stafford Rangers and Worcester City.
About bringing him back to City six-and-a-half years on from his last spell, Mills said: “We have taken Smudger on loan with an agreement to keep him until the end of the season.
“He was my skipper last season so I know all about him and am delighted to get him in. He has become available, which surprised me because he's done superbly at Mansfield, but they've had a big influx of money and have got more centre-halves in.
“He's a good player and I'm sure he will do well for us. Whatever people thought of him when he was here before, he's better than when he left and is a good leader.
“He knows this league and knows me. He also knows how I like to play and what I want from him.”
Stonehouse backing Stags boss Holdsworth
Evening Post, 21 Oct 2010
PAUL Stonehouse today backed David Holdsworth as the right man to blend old and new as Mansfield Town bid to reach the play-offs.
At the start of the season, the Stags manager had a limited budget to put together a squad he hoped could compete in the Blue Square Premier.
But since the takeover of millionaire owner John Radford, he now has the power to shuffle his pack and introduce better players on higher wages.
Adam Murray, Rhys Day, Simon Grand and Steve Cook have already arrived on loan deals, with the prospect of more new faces in January.
Now he has the problem of retaining continuity.
But Stonehouse believes Holdsworth has the man-management skills to keep the club moving in the right direction.
"I wouldn't argue with the gaffer's signings because they have all been good players," said the left-back.
"I want to get promoted so if we are bringing in quality players, it is going to help the team and that is going to help me achieve my goals as well.
"When you are playing for a big club, you have to accept changes are going to happen.
"You need a big squad in this league and obviously the expectation levels are now very high."
Stonehouse, signed in the summer from Forest Green Rovers, is determined to ease the pressure on his boss after a five-game winless streak.
He said: "We can't get too down on ourselves and are only one or two wins away from putting ourselves back up there."
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