As far as games go, this Thursday night goalless draw at The Shay between two sides chasing the play off places was hardly a classic.
FC Halifax Town welcomed Braintree Town for what was the visitor’s sixth game in the space of just thirteen days for a fixture in which the referee was focal point.
The officials gave a number of bizarre decisions topped off with a comical second half error which resulted in a free kick decision being reversed into a drop ball and the back to the original call.
In a poor first half, Braintree should have taken the lead on two occasions but both times Dan Holman pulled his shot wide when one on one with Halifax keeper Matt Glennon.
Halifax had the game’s first shot on target late in the half when Lois Maynard’s effort was well held by Nick Hamann between the sticks for the Essex outfit.
The Shaymen had two other opportunities earlier on in the proceedings with Paul Marshall’s left footed effort from the edge of the area and Marc Roberts header going wide of Hamann’s goal.
In a somewhat levier second half, Neil Aspin’s side must have felt they deserved more than just a point out of this game.
Hamann held onto a Simon Ainge header with substitute Scott Spencer, on debut following his loan move from Hyde, making a positive impact.
Within minutes of coming on, Spencer had two chances to score but both times but the ball in Row Z rather than the top corner of the Braintree goal.
The Iron’s defence held out strong against a Town strike force which contained the highly rated free scoring Lee Gregory and Alan Devonshire’s men tried to hit Fax on the break.
Braintree’s defensive display got this reaction from Neil Aspin: “If you look at the work-rate and when our wide players got the ball, there were always two banks of four. They worked exceptionally hard and they were difficult to break down. That is why we haven’t been able to be as fluent tonight because they put in a tremendous shift.”
The deployed tactic nearly came to fruition in terms of a goal but Matty Pearson fantastically outmuscled Luke Daley and forced a goal kick.
Braintree, who have played Saturday, Tuesday, Thursday for the past two weeks, have taken thirteen points along the way which has seen them move up to third in the table. The Shaymen remain in sixth, one point outside the play off place.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, Roberts (Lowe 65), Pearson, Ainge, McManus, Maynard, Smith (Spencer 61), Crowther (Jackson 82), Marshall, Gregory. Subs Not Used: Senior, Wilson.
Braintree Town: Hamann, Paine, Massey, Habergham, Wells, Daley (Jakubiak 80), Isaac, Sparkes (Laurent 46), Peters, Holman, Marks. Subs Not Used: McDonald, Holdsworth, Cox.