FC Halifax Town
battled to a hard-fought victory in Cumbria yesterday, with Gareth Seddon
’s early header the only thing separating the Shaymen from their struggling Blue Square North opponents.
’s rusty Borough Park was bathed in sun for the visit of Town, who made a rare, and long, trip north, through the stunning Lake District, for the first of 13 league matches in four weeks.
The beauty of the surroundings was not quite befitting of a game that became scrappy at times, as both sides, in parts, struggled to get a firm grasp of the game.
However, despite some unpleasant aesthetics in front of goal from Town, who managed to waste a number of opportunities, especially on the break in the final minutes, Neil Aspin’s defence looked solid.
So solid was Town’s defence, that had we played an extra 90 minutes on top of the original, Workington
would have still struggled to create chances.
Three minutes was all it took for Town to take the lead. As we have seen so often this season, Scott McManus
wandered up the left wing, finding himself with time and space to chip a delightfully accurate cross onto the unmarked head of Seddon, who had no trouble nodding past Aaron Taylor in the Workington
He reeled away, arm aloft akin to Alan Shearer, in front of a healthy number of travelling Town supporters. However it would be not long before Town’s loyal travellers saw the last of Seddon, as the forward, who has now scored 20 goals this campaign, had to leave the field injured after 37 minutes.
He left a game that seemed more equal than Town would have hoped. The visitors could have been a few goals to the good, rather than the slender lead they had, which was eventually taken into half time.
Alex Titchiner blasted over from the edge of the box after Dan Gardner
had an inquisitive early run and shot blocked by Taylor.
In fact it Seddon who came closest to grabbing Town a second in the first half, just before clashing with Dave Hewson in a challenge that would bring an early end to his afternoon.
Titchiner wriggled into the Workington
box and played back to Liam Needham
. He quickly crossed to Seddon, whose left-footed first-time volley was brilliantly clawed away by the big left paw of Taylor.
also have their chances in the first period, though a rare lack of composure from top scorer Gareth Arnison saw an effort fly high and wide of goal, not too long after forcing Matty Glennon into a sharp save when played through by Mark Bond.
Half time saw another change Titchener, struggling with the physicality of the match, replaced by newly-signed Danny Glover for his Shaymen debut.
Gregory and Glover linked well instantly on the edge of the box, as Gregory received from his new strike partner and turned Lee Andrews in one 180-degree swoop, though lost all composure when through on goal, slicing horribly wide.
Glover, and Town’s away cohort, were shouting for a penalty not long after. The ball clearly struck the arm of a sliding red shirt on the ground but the position of the defender – very close to Town’s newly-signed striker – would have made any penalty extremely harsh.
Not that Town looked to need a penalty given their dominance in the second half. As the ball spilled out to the edge of the box, Gardner struck with such venom that his effort, which grazed the top of the crossbar, nearly smashed through the concrete barriers at the back of Borough Park.
He came close again a minute later, from an almost identical position. This time, however, he looked to place a shot though again saw the ball sail wide. It was to be his last action as Jason St. Juste came on in his place.
Worsley then came close to securing the win for Town, in bizarre fashion, as his cross defeated Taylor in the flight, though was unwilling to drop in, instead falling inches wide of the upright.
Jacob Hazel found himself through on goal but Glennon was quick to react, bravely diving at the feet of the forward to both keep a hold of the ball and thwart the danger.
Time and time again Town broke against a battling Workington
, who were by now throwing men forward in hope rather than expectancy, though the Shaymen were left wanting when they ventured into the final third.
Not that mattered, as the Shaymen comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to collect a valuable three points as they embark on a marathon of Blue Square North fixtures.