FC Halifax Town 0 v 0 Gloucester City
FC Halifax improved from Tuesday nights defeat to earn a draw against Gloucester City, but after hitting the woodwork twice, they may feel they should have taken all 3 points.
Tom Baker was the first to strike the post in the opening minutes when he saw his left footed drive come flying back off the woodwork.
James Dean was the next unlucky enough to strike the post. The target man rising highest to power Ryan Toulson's cross at goal, but again the framework denied The Shaymen of an opener.
In the second half there was a lengthy stoppage of around twenty minutes as Steve Davies dislocated his shoulder in a challenge.
After the break in play, Halifax pushed on for a winner, but Gloucester held strong to deny the promotion hopefuls of a valuable three points.
Neil Aspin was able to make two loan acquisitions in midweek with Sean Clancy coming in from Fleetwood Town, and Ross Hannah joining from Bradford City.
Both signings were drafted straight into the starting line-up as they replaced Jamie Rainford and Simon Garner, who were confined to a place on the bench.
Halifax started far the brighter of the two teams, and had a barrage of early opportunities.
Dean tested Lewis Carey's alertness early on as he headed towards goal with the first attack, but the header lacked the power to really test the keeper.
The woodwork then came to the rescue for the Tigers. Baker took the ball off the toes of Hannah, before seeing his left footed drive cannon off the left post.
Hannah was again involved with the next opportunity. A long clearance by Simon Eastwood was flicked on by Dean to Hannah, but his lofted effort dropped over the bar.
The Shaymen were then unlucky not find the lead, as for the second time inside the opening ten minutes, the woodwork saved Gloucester.
Clever football down the right allowed Toulson to whip in a dangerous ball from the left which Dean met, but it again flew back out off the post.
The two new boys, Clancy and Hannah combined well for the next opportunity. The former clipped a neat ball into the path off Hannah, but he speculative early effort straight at Carey.
Gloucester finally had their first sniffle at goal around the half hour mark, but it came courtesy of a Halifax mistake.
Liam Hogan attempted to watch the ball out of play, but lost out to Theo Lewis who squared it Will Morford, but a saving clearance by McManus spared Hogan's blushes.
A jinking run by Tom Baker earned The Shaymen a free-kick in an intriguing position. Hannah stepped up, eager to make an impact on his debut, but curled his effort narrowly wide of the post.
Gloucester found their second chance in almost the same manner as the first. Hogan losing a battle of strength with Morford, but the striker then scuffed his effort harmlessly wide.
Halifax looked dangerous from set-pieces and found their next chance courtesy of a Baker corner. He struck it in low and hard to the head of McManus at the near post, but Carey palmed it away.
The last chance of the half fell Baker's way. Toulson played a teasing through-ball to Danny Holland, who then set Baker for a snapshot, but Carey reacted well to palm over the bar.
The second half started with a much slower tempo in comparison to the first 45 as both sides looked rushed in possession.
Davies looked a threat for Gloucester, as he was enjoying the space out wide. Twice he broke down the right but on both occasions his direct crosses were well claimed by Eastwood.
Clancy was enjoying similar freedom in his role on the left, and was allowed to run at The Tigers defence, but after beating two players, his 25-yard shot was tame, and easily saved by Carey.
A long stoppage in play ensued as Davies fell awkwardly onto his left shoulder to dislocate it when challenging McManus.
There was widespread concern for the winger who looked in agony as the medical staff did all they could before the ambulance and paramedics arrived.
Play resumed around twenty minutes later as The Shaymen back four finally emerged from the dressing room.
Gloucester looked shaken after that horrific injury and it was Halifax who looked to press on for an opening goal.
A poor defensive clearance from Matt Coupe fell to Clancy; he switched the ball onto his favoured left foot but fired his shot viciously over the bar.
Halifax then had a goal chalked off. Clancy took over corner duty and whipped a delightful ball in, which Dean powered home, but the linesman judged the ball to have already gone out of play.
Within five minutes, Gloucester had a goal of their own written off. Morford's cross in left Adam Mann challenging Eastwood, before firing home, but the referee deemed it a foul on the keeper.
Dean was presented with another headed opportunity to opening the scoring. Hannah received the ball in the right channel to curl a deep cross to Dean, but his header lacked vigour and dropped wide.
The Shaymen now face a long trip to Bishop's Stortford next Saturday, and they will be looking for revenge for last Tuesday's defeat.