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.