FC Halifax Town
beat an inexperienced Blackburn Rovers side in an exciting pre season encounter at The Shay.
’s fifth goal of pre season and goal from Danny Lowe
gave Town a two goal lead. Jordan Slew gave the Shaymen a late scare but Dale Johnson
was able to add an injury time third to give them the victory against the former Premier League champions.
With the majority of Blackburn’s first team on tour in the Netherlands, the Rovers XI consisted of youngsters and reserves, with no star players being on show.
Gregory had two great chances to take the lead for Town in the opening minutes. Lowe floated a free kick in to the box towards Ben Futcher. He headed the ball down on to Gregory’s feet, who beat the offside trap, but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and the ball harmlessly to Blackburn’s Australian keeper Seb Usai. Then Lowe again was the creator, floating a ball over the top of Rovers’ defence, which was collected by Gregory who could only strike the ball against the goalkeeper from close range.
Blackburn’s main threat was England under-19 forward Slew, who made his first team debut against Manchester United in December at Old Trafford. He had their best chance of the opening half when he was found unmarked at the back post by a floated pass from Osayamen Osawe but he didn’t make great contact and volleyed straight into the hands of Matt Glennon
Blackburn didn’t really trouble Glennon again in the first half with Raheem Hanley finding space a couple of times on the edge of the box but he could only trouble the ball boy with his strikes. Rovers were prevented from creating any great chances with Town being strong in the tackle and not allowing their opposition any time on the ball in the final third.
Town took the lead just past the half hour mark and it was route one football that provided the break through. A long kick from Glennon bounced over the head of Myles Anderson, leaving Gareth Seddon
free on goal. His low shot struck the right hand post but the rebound fell to Gregory who was in the right place at the right time and he really couldn’t miss.
Halifax quickly looked for a second and Seddon came close, bringing a great save out of Usai with a powerful shot from inside the box. However, they didn’t have to wait long to add to their lead and it came courtesy of captain Lowe. A clever corner from Paul Marshall found Lowe, who had lost his man at the front post and he provided a clinical left footed finish into the right hand bottom corner of the net.
The second half started slowly, with a good combination down the left hand side by Gregory and Seddon being unable to create a clear cut chance following great defending from Hanley.
Just moments later Osawe had Blackburn’s best chance of the game so far. He showed quick feet to beat Liam Hogan
and he powered into the box on the left hand side, hitting a ferocious strike straight at Glennon and it was cleared to safety.
Blackburn began to get more of the possession and looked to put their mark on the game but still struggled to create chances.
Town’s first real chance of the second half came just after the hour mark with a Dale Johnson
through ball feeding Jamie Rainford but miss-hit his one-on-one opportunity and the ball wobbled into the hands of Usai.
Entering the last 20 minutes and Rovers really began to exert pressure on Town, finally opening up their backline. Three chances in a matter of minutes from Micah Evans, Hugo Fernandez Molina and Anderson all brought saves out of Glennon but Town were able to ride the storm.
Blackburn grabbed a late goal to keep the game alive, scored by Slew. The goal seemingly came from nothing, with Slew hitting a powerful shot from outside the area. Glennon was able to get a hand on it but it wasn’t enough and the ball rolled into the bottom right hand corner.
With Rovers looking to equalise, Town were able to add a third and put the game beyond doubt. Johnson rose unmarked from a Rainford free kick and headed past Usai.
Town’s next game is home to Bolton Wanderers XI on Wednesday.