Football: League football at Stevenage?

Non-League notebook
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The Independent Online
STEVENAGE BOROUGH lost their last chance of honours this season when they were surprisingly beaten at home by Slough Town in the quarter- finals of the FA Umbro Trophy last weekend. Despite gaining some revenge with a 4-2 win over Slough on Monday, the Hertfordshire side languish in the bottom half of the GM Vauxhall Conference - but their Broadhall Way stadium may yet play host to Nationwide League football next season.

Victor Green, the Stevenage chairman, confirmed yesterday that his club are engaged in talks about a ground-sharing agreement with Barnet. "We can offer Barnet what they don't have: a stadium fit for the Football League," he said.

The Third Division club have fewer than the Football League minimum of 6,000 seats at their Underhill ground. The deadline for rectifying that situation is August this year and, with a proposed new development at Copthall stadium being delayed by planning problems, Barnet must look elsewhere. They had previously been linked with a temporary move to Enfield or Boreham Wood.

One of the matches of the Conference season will take place at The Shay tomorrow, when the leaders, Halifax Town, take on second-placed Rushden & Diamonds. Tuesday's emphatic 5-1 home win over Morecambe took the West Yorkshire side 10 points clear of their rivals from Northamptonshire, who have a game in hand.

Ongoing building work at The Shay means that tomorrow's match is all- ticket, with a 3,500 crowd limit. Halifax are confident that the construction of new terraces at both ends of the stadium will be complete by the Football League's ground- grading deadline of 1 April. The eventual capacity, after the town's rugby league team have moved in, will be 15,000.

Rushden have risen rapidly up the table with four consecutive wins - and another three points for the Diamonds tomorrow will keep the championship race very much alive.