|Venue: Shay Stadium Date: 21-10-23 FC Halifax Town 2 Harriers 1 Att: 2037 (away fans: 150)
All the effort but no end product for Harriers
Report: Owen Grazebrook
After days of torrential rain the Harriers arrived at FC Halifax Towns picturesque Shay Stadium to find the pitch looking like a bowling green when I think we were all expecting the game to be played in wellies.
The match kicked off with the visitors looking bright and confident and within two minutes Zak Brown poked the ball just wide of the post after Sam Robinson put the ball into the danger area from the right. Barely another two minutes had passed before we broke down the left side this time with Amari Morgan-Smith crossing perfectly for Bailey Hobson who’s header was well saved by the Halifax number one, Sam Johnson.
The omens all looked good, even as Halifax started to edge their way back into the game and start to gain some territory, especially down their left side through the lively number eleven Millenic Alli. Despite this Harriers continued to have chances and fail to take them. Ashley Hemmings was next up to rue an opportunity as Hobson’s shot was blocked and Hemmings, who was linking up well with Robinson on the right, followed up by shooting just wide of the upright.
Twenty five minutes in the Harriers were awarded a free kick on the right which Hemmings whipped in onto the head of Alex Penny who placed the attempt perfectly toward the top corner, only for it to be tipped over by the keeper. That’s chance number four…I hope you’re keeping up at the back?
Then the inevitable sucker punch on the twenty eight minute mark with the Shaymen’s first proper chance. Again, the attack came from their favoured left side with Ryan Galvin supplying a powerful cross that was met with equal power by Alli. Christian Dibble got a hand to it but could only take some of the pace off the ball as it spun into the net to the relief of the home crowd, who haven’t had much to cheer about at home this season.
No time to lick our wounds though as Hemmo again was in the thick of it with another great opportunity. He met a cross with his head that beat the keeper that was creeping into the bottom corner in slow motion, until a defenders foot steered it just wide of the post.
Then came the equaliser from a corner taken by Hemmings. Brown met it well with his head and the ball crashed against the bar and back into the mix, only for AMS to do what he does best and react quickly to the loose ball by smashing it into the roof of the net to the delight of the 150 following Harriers contingent.
Harriers continued to attack despite the game being interrupted by lots of free kicks resulting from trips, pushes and general midfield argy-bargy. Before the break we had yet another great chance with Brown and Hemmo breaking from our own half with Halifax on the back foot. Brown’s eventual shot was anticlimactic as it struck a defenders trailing leg with the target begging to be hit.
It was a very positive end to a half for the Harriers (having converted one of seven very good chances) with the Shaymen looking somewhat disjointed (having converted their only clear cut chance).
HT: 1 – 1
The second half started with Halifax looking a bit more organised and it took them only ten minutes to take the lead with a well worked move down their left. A cross came in from the bye line that probably shouldn’t have if we were more alert to the danger and it was tapped in by the ever present Alli.
Then came a prolonged period of huffing and puffing with some good pressure and dominance from Kiddy, but few clearcut chances. On came Kieran Phillips for AMS on seventy minutes rather that the usual eighty fifth minute, a sensible move given that AMS had usually worked himself into the ground by that stage of the game and we all want to see a bit more of what Phillips can do. At the same time Robinson was also swapped for Reiss McNally.
Within three minutes Phillips was in the action running onto a through ball from Brown, but his shot was saved low down by Johnson. Next Brown had a go from the edge of the area, his high shot thwarted by the in form Johnson tipping it over the bar. It was spirited stuff despite the lack of end product.
Halifax then had their third big chance and hit the bar after whipping in dangerous crosses that we didn’t deal with. Immediately Harriers were on the attack again with ten minutes to go as Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain waltzed into the area and his shot was parried away to safety.
In the last minutes of the game, with continual pressure from the Reds, a corner from Hemmings was cleared and then lofted back into the box to land square at the feet of Krystian Pearce. The lanky defender hardly realised what was happening as he was completely unmarked in front of goal and frustratingly for the away support, just couldn’t get the ball out of his feet. Chance number eleven went begging…but we weren’t done yet!
90+7 minutes; Dibble comes forward to the half way line to belt the ball into the box and it lands perfectly on the head of Penny. Saved.
Twelve very decent chances and a single goal tells an all too familiar story. It was a strange atmosphere on the final whistle as the away fans showed their appreciation for the players efforts with a feeling of disbelief that we only managed to score once in a game we largely dominated.
FT: 2 – 1
Goals for FC Halifax Town: Alli 28, 52
Goal for Harriers: Morgan-Smith 33
The Harriers Online MotM is: Alex Penny
Talk about the game here
Latest table and stats here
|FC Halifax Town
|Mr Garreth Rhodes