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Match Report


Posted Tue 03 Jul 12 at 23:59 PM

Town Lose 1-0.....

FC Halifax Town head into the play-offs on the back of a 1-0 defeat to ten-man Stalybridge Celtic.

The Shaymen fell behind on the half-hour mark after Mitchell Austin slid the ball past goalkeeper, Phil Senior, who was making his first appearance of the season.

This was despite the hosts being reduced to ten men when Callum Warburton was shown a red card for a dangerous tackle on Osebi Abadaki.

Town had plenty of possession throughout the 90 minutes, including 16 corners but they could not make the most of their one man advantage.

Altrincham’s win over Droylsden means that Halifax will face a two-legged play-off against Guiseley, with the home leg at The Shay on Tuesday.

Neil Aspin made seven changes from the team that held champions Chester on Thursday with only Liam Hogan, Sean Williams, Gareth Seddon and Danny Glover maintaining their position in the starting line-up.

Midfielder, Jon Worthington, was selected as captain with Danny Lowe left out of the squad.

The Shaymen travelled to the Bower Fold stadium having recorded four draws from their last five matches.

It was testament to Aspin’s players that they had secured their play-off place last week after playing their final 19 games of the season in just 57 days compared to their first 19 matches which were played across 186 days.

Stalybridge extraordinarily started with defensive midfielder, Jordan Barrow, in goal with both first-team goalkeepers injured.

The Celts captain, Kristian Platt, had the first sight of goal for either team on 11 minutes when he drilled a low free-kick from 20 yards wide of Senior’s post.

Barrow was called into action for the first time when Worthington raced over the halfway line but his daisy-cutter was easily saved.

Just one minute later, Stalybridge were reduced to ten men.

Striker, Warburton, dived in with two feet off the floor on Abadaki giving the referee no option but to show him the red card.

The tackle brought a furious response from Aspin and his backroom staff with few complaints from the Stalybridge players.

Abadaki was fortunate not to have been seriously injured and returned to his feet after receiving treatment.

Despite having a one man advantage, Town went behind on 30 minutes.

Austin showed exquisite control and composure to stroke the ball past Senior from eight yards after Adam Pepper chipped a free-kick over the top of the Town defence.

The home side nearly doubled their lead when Pepper was played in one-on-one down the left side of the penalty box only for Senior to dive at the feet of the midfielder.

Halifax responded with a chance of their own five minutes before half-time.

An in-swinging corner from Williams was headed back across goal from Needham towards the direction of Glover, who chested the ball down inside the box but his goal-bound volley was blocked.

Town began to take a strangle-hold of the game with Seddon, Worthington and Hogan all going close.

First, Seddon’s left-footed volley seemed to heading for the far corner but it was headed behind for a corner by Kelvin Bleau.

From the resulting corner, Worthington had time and space at the edge of the box to pick his spot but it was cleared from danger by Platt.

Hogan then lined-up a long distance strike from 30 yards which whistled just over the cross bar.

Seddon again had another sight of the goal when he tested Barrow from a tight angle in the box on the half-time whistle.

Chris Worsley replaced Abadaki at the break and slotted straight into midfield.

Halifax controlled possession early in the second-half with Jason St Juste receiving a lot of the ball down the left wing.

Makeshift goalkeeper, Barrow was then equal to a curling effort from Williams from 25 yards.

On 65 minutes, Seddon was replaced by Alex Johnson.

Hogan was also taken off two minutes later with Matt Pearson entering the field of play.

Substitute, Johnson, almost had an immediate impact when he beat the offside trap after a through ball from Glover but again Barrow could not be beaten.

With ten minutes remaining, Town had two chances to level the score.

A counter-attack lead by Williams was almost finished by Worsley but his scuffed effort was deflected wide for a corner.

Adam Jackson connected with the following set-piece but his side-foot from six yards flew over the bar.

With the clock ticking down to the end of the domestic campaign, Worsley had another great opportunity to find the net.

The midfielder arrived late at the far post with a diving header from a Pearson cross but he headed just inches wide.

No further chances were created in added-time meaning that the Shaymen finished fifth in the Blue Square North on 75 points.

Attendance: 744

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