The inside track on Halifax Town as Shaymen writer picks out five-goal Devante Rodney as biggest threat to Hartlepool United

Halifax Town are the visitors to the Super 6 Stadium as Hartlepool United look to get back to winning ways on Friday.

Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 1:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th April 2019, 1:29 pm
Devante Rodney nets at a late strike at AFC Fylde in 2017/18. He left Pools for Salford City but now finds himself on loan at Halifax Town.

We've spoken to Shaymen writer Tom Scargill to get the inside track on Halifax's form, style of play and likely starting XI, among other things.

How have Halifax been playing lately?

Barring the anomaly of the 1-0 home defeat to Maidenhead, they've been doing really well.

Loanees Manny Duku and former Hartlepool man Devante Rodney have made a huge impact since joining from Cheltenham and Salford respectively, adding pace, energy and physicality to Town's attack.

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They've been excellent in the win over Solihull and the draw at Leyton Orient, while Rodney scored again in the 2-2 draw with Bromley last Saturday.

Halifax were patchy in that game, but roused themselves to finish the game strongly and should have won it.

Certainly not cracked the tops off their sun tan bottles yet.

What can Hartlepool expect from them on Friday?

First and foremost, a hard working side that is well organised, disciplined and knows their jobs.

They have a terrific defensive record this season, with centre-backs Nathan Clarke and Matty Brown both commanding presences.

They will look to Duku and Rodney to provide most of their attacking impetus, supported by the likes of midfielders Matty Kosylo and Cameron King, who played well last time out.

They won't just sit back - they went 2-0 up at Orient - but won't give much away either. They conceded two avoidable goals against Bromley so will be keen to ensure that doesn't happen again.

Style of play?

They have some good passers in midfield, such as James Berrett and Cameron King, who can pick out the runs of Duku and Rodney with through balls.

Matty Kosylo will run at players down the left flank, and his impact will depend on how quickly he can get into his groove and take players on.

Duku and Rodney have linked-up very well so far, so expect plenty of movement and sharp passing between those two.

Dangermen?

Has to be Devante Rodney. Has scored five goals in nine games on loan at the club, and could have had a hat-trick against Bromley last Saturday.

Has fitted like a glove at the club, and looks confident and sharp.

Injuries?

Just a bit, yeah! Story of the season in many ways. Long-term absentees are winger Ben Tomlinson, striker Dayle Southwell and winger Sanmi Odelusi, while right-back Michael Duckworth, midfielder Niall Maher and left-back Ryan Sellers haven't featured for a few games and it is doubtful they will again this season.

Likely line-up and formation?

Probably a 4-4-2 diamond - Sam Johnson (GK), Jacob Hanson (RB), Nathan Clarke (CB), Matty Brown (CB), Joe Skarz (LB), Josh Staunton (DM), James Berrett (RM), Matty Kosylo (LM), Cameron King (AM), Devante Rodney (ST), Manny Duku (ST).