Non-league notebook: Happy days are back at last for Halifax Town non-league notebook

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The Independent Online
It is a long time since Halifax Town have had anything to celebrate. They have not been promoted from any division since 1969 and have failed to regain their Football League place since being relegated in 1993 - unlike Lincoln, Darlington and Colchester, who all bounced back within a season or two of the drop.

Now, though, there is reason for optimism at last at The Shay. Tuesday's emphatic 6-1 win over Telford lifted George Mulhall's side to the top of the GM Vauxhall Conference, a point clear of the early-season leaders, Morecambe.

"Everybody's bubbling," said the club's commercial manager and press officer, Dave Worthington, Frank's older brother and a former Halifax, Barrow and Grimsby full-back. "There's a long way to go but the whole town's talking about the club - which hasn't happened for years."

The Shay was widely regarded as the worst ground in the Football League before Halifax went down in '93, but if the West Yorkshire club manage to regain their League place future opponents may not recongise the stadium.

A agreement has been signed to share the ground with the town's rugby league club, Halifax Blue Sox, while Calderdale District Council have pledged to provide up to pounds 500,000 to help fund the redevelopment of the stadium. "It will be ready for the Football League if we finish top," Worthington insisted yesterday.

The man making the headlines on the pitch has been Geoff Horsfield, a 23-year-old striker who was with the Shaymen as a junior in their League days, but was released and resurrected his career with Guiseley and Witton Albion in the UniBond League before returning to Halifax.

Horsfield hit three against Telford to follow an earlier hat-trick against Yeovil two weeks ago. With 10 goals in all competitions, he is the leading scorer in the Conference this season.