FC Halifax Town 1-3 Woking

Standard

Fresh of two games in three days, Halifax returned to action as fellow play-off chasers Woking made the long trip north for this Sunday lunchtime fixture.

With the corresponding last fixture providing a seven goal thriller and the Shaymen’s only home defeat of the term, the entertainment stakes were always going to prove difficult to match this time around.

And just like twelve months previous, Woking made the 210 mile journey home the happier side as they took the three points back south after a slightly less nervy victory at The Shay.

The lack of X Factor showed in the game’s opening twenty minutes with the only real chance from either side being a Marc Roberts header from a free kick which went straight at Jake Cole in the visitor’s goal.

After Simon Ainge headed over from under his own bar to stop Scott Rendell sneaking home at the far post, Matt Glennon pulled over a marvellous stop at the feet of Guiseppe Sole.

Sole would get the better of Glennon a couple of minutes later as his wonderful free kick from thirty yards went straight into the top corner of the Ex-Bradford & Huddersfield man’s net to break the deadlock.

And with Woking taking advantage of Town’s change of formation following the goal, Sole was nearly in again from a defensive error only for Glennon to win the latest duel in this interesting battle of wits.

The men from Surrey would double their lead in rather fortunate circumstances. After some good build up play, Scott Rendell’s shot took a wicked deflection into the path of right back Adam Newton who fired home from inside the area.

Woking were unlucky not to score a third in the closing moments of the half when a Woking counter leader to Scott McManus going through the back of fellow defender Sean McGinty to allow Sole through but his chipped effort hit the crossbar.

The early talking points of the second half centred around the action, or lack of it, from the match officials who after letting Josh Payne off with just a yellow for his fierce late challenge somehow missed a clear corner which saw Richard Peniket talk his way into the book for dissent.

Newton bagged his second and Woking’s third near the halfway point of the half when Chris Arthur’s cross went straight through the bodies in the area leaving the right back free at the far post to tuck the ball home.

Halifax did have a couple of chances to get on the board following the introduction of Jamie Jackson, who’s cross to Marc Roberts was headed out for a corner by Joe McNerney before Peniket’s effort from the set piece proving an easy catch for Cole.

Jackson proved a thorn in the Cardinals side once again when he was brought down in the area by James Clarke to win a penalty which was coolly put away from the spot by Paul Marshall.

With the home side now on the front foot whilst looking to forge a comeback, Peniket and Jackson were both denied from close range before a wild shot from distance by McManus sailed into the South Terrace.

Kevin Betsy, a winger of vast Football League experience, nearly restored the advantage with a wonderful solo effort but after skipping through many a challenge could only fire wide from ten yards.

McManus had another effort to grab Neil Aspin’s sides second of the afternoon following a Kevin Roberts lead counter attack but could only fire narrowly past the Yellows near post.

Adam Smith, often FCHT’s main attacking threat, put a cross into a dangerous area five minutes from time but Peniket could only get inches from touching the ball into the goal rather than making the significant contact.

Smith nearly grabbed one for himself in the final minutes but was stopped by a marvellous close range save by the former Plymouth and Barnet stopper Cole.

HALIFAX: Glennon, K Roberts, M Roberts, Ainge, McGinty (Schofield 46), McManus, Marshall, Maynard, Smith, Boden (Jackson 63), Peniket. Subs (Not Used): Senior, Bolton, Pearson.

WOKING: Cole, Newton, McNerney, Cestor, Clarke, Lewis, Payne, Arthur, Betsy, Rendell, Sole (Goddard 76). Subs (Not Used): Howe, Beckles, Taylor.

Grimsby Town 1-0 FC Halifax Town

Standard

Halifax succumbed to a narrow defeat at Blundell Park in this clash between two of the large chasing back behind current leaders Barnet.

Yet just forty eight hours removed from the FA Cup defeat to West Yorkshire rivals Bradford, a Shaun Pearson goal four minutes before the interval proved to be the winner for the Mariners.

The Grimsby centre back powered home a header from a Nathan Arnold corner for his third goal of the season to secure the home side’s fifth consecutive league victory and strengthen their grip on second position.

Speaking following the game, Shaymen defender Scott McManus told the club website: “We set up as a strong physical unit and really, we shouldn’t be conceding from corners. It was just a good leap and a good goal.”

Paul Hurst’s side had the better of the first half and would have opened the scoring if not for the brilliance of Matt Glennon in the Town goal.

Fifteen minutes in to the first half, Glennon tipped a curling Harry Pell effort from the edge of the area over the crossbar when it looked certain for the top corner.

The former Huddersfield and Bradford shot stopper found it much easier minutes later when Lenell John-Lewis’s acrobatic effort went directly into his gloves.

Post-match, Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside: “It was going to be a tough game and it proved that way. I thought it was a good game really, with two good teams. I thought at times, particularly first-half, it ebbed and flowed, although I thought we were on top in the main.”

Following the restart, the Yorkshire outfit won two free-kicks just outside the area but unfortunately for Neil Aspin both Richard Peniket and Scott McManus dragged the set pieces narrowly wide of McKewon’s near post.

Matty Pearson also had an effort to level the game back up but his header from a Paul Marshall corner flew over the crossbar just moments before his long rate effort rattled the woodwork.

With the pressure on for an equaliser, Grimsby spent most of the half on the back foot but did have a chance to seal the three points half way through the half but a Scott Neilson cross-cum-shot rattled the crossbar after beating Glennon.

Up next for FC Halifax Town is another top of the table clash this Sunday (16th November) when fellow play off hopefuls Woking are the visitors to The Shay.

GRIMSBY: McKeown, Parslow, Nsiala, Pearson, Thomas, Pell, Disley, Magnay (Clay 55), Arnold, Neilson (Mackreth 85), John-Lewis. Subs (Not Used): Brown, Hannah, Pittman.

HALIFAX: Glennon, McGinty (Smith 71), M Roberts, Ainge, K Roberts, Dyer (Pearson 46), Marshall, Maynard, McManus, Peniket, Boden (Schofield 77). Subs (Not Used): Senior, Bolton.