FC Halifax Town will not be joining Bradford City in the Football League next season after they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the first stage of the playoffs last night.

The Shaymen were unable to replicate the form that led them to a fourth-place finish in the National League, coming unstuck to Chesterfield in heartbreaking fashion.

Goals from former City striker Danny Rowe and ex Fax man Jeff King denied Pete Wild's side a playoff semi-final date with Solihull Moors.

Rowe controversially signed for the non-league outfit just 92 days after joining the Bantams.

He scored five times in his brief spell at Valley Parade before moving for an undisclosed fee in April 2021.

The Spireites, who came into the tie on a four-game winless streak, took the lead through Rowe's near-post header from King's corner in the 19th minute.

Full back King then let fly with a rasping strike midway through the second period to dampen the spirits of most of the 5,661 in attendance at The Shay.

Matt Stenson, with his first goal for the club, stoked the fire again following an easy finish in the 68th minute.

Halifax battled hard towards the end of the match but were unable to muster that one opportunity to equalise.

Rowe and his team are now just two games away from League Two status. If they come through Solihull on Sunday, a final against either Wrexham or Grimsby awaits.

HALIFAX: Johnson, Warren, Debrah, Maher, Senior, Woods, Green (Stenson 56min), Gilmour, Warburton, Slew (Dearnley 77min), Waters.
CHESTERFIELD: Loach, King, Williams, Grimes Maguire, Khan (McCourt 89min), Kellermann, Whelan, Miller (Whittle 77min), Mandeville, Rowe (Tyson 72min).