FC Halifax Town
move into the Skrill Premier League playoffs thanks to a hard fought point against visitors Gateshead
, despite throwing away a two goal cushion.
FC Halifax named an unchanged starting line up from the 5-1 victory against Lincoln City
had the early pressure, but it was the Shaymen who created the first real chance, Maynard heading just wide from a Marshall free kick.
FC Halifax took the lead after 9 minutes thanks to captain Lee Gregory
’s placed finish into the bottom corner after a great ball Gardner.
Gregory made it 2-0 a few minutes later with a neat bit of trickery which left the Gateshead
defender for dead. Gregory then cut in onto his weaker left foot and stroked the ball past the stranded Adam Bartlett.
Gregory had the chance to complete his hat-trick after only 29 minutes when he raced onto a great ball by McManus but he dragged his shot wide of the far post under good pressure from Gateshead
defender Ben Clark.
came close just after the half hour mark when Josh Walker headed wide of Matt Glennon
’s goal after James Marwood pulled the strings in the middle of the park.
Glennon was finally called into action when James Marwood had a speculative shot from 25 yards out, Glennon spilled at the first attempt but gathered at the second attempt without any pressure from the Gateshead
A whipped in Gardner free kick caused trouble in the Gateshed penalty box, but Simon Ainge
could only head over from 8 yards out.
replaced Paul Marshall
at halftime in the first change for the Shaymen.
immediately put Town on the back foot at the start of the second half, James Brown scoring a powerful effort that swerved as it passed the despairing dive of ‘keeper Glennon.
thought he had scored his and Halifax’s third with a neat finish, however the linesman judged him to be offside, much to the discontent of the home fans.
The Shaymen made their second sub of the afternoon when Reece Gray replaced Dan Gardner
just past the 50 minute mark.
A great save low at the feet of Gregory by Bartlett, again denied the prolific striker the opportunity of a hat-trick.
FC Halifax finally got the third goal they deserved when Simon Ainge
powered home an excellent corner from Adam Smith
A string of Gateshead
corners put town onto the back foot, but the defence dealt with the pressure and the ball was headed wide of the Halifax goal.
’s Craig Baxter got the wrong side of the Town defence and his dangerous cross was eventually put out for a corner which was well dealt with by the Town defence, who turned the clearance into a counter attack which came to nothing.
pulled a second goal back thanks to smart finish from sub Marcus Madison, who lifted the ball over the advancing Matt Glennon
FC Halifax responded immediately by bringing on Joe Ironside in their final sub of the game in place of winger Adam Smith
got a deserved equaliser with 10 minutes to go, James Brown capitalising on some panicky defending from the Shaymen to blast the ball in from close range.
kept the pressure coming with a thunderbolt effort from the edge of the area that cannoned off the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
Halifax nearly nicked all three points late on as Wilson had a sweetly timed shot that went just wide of the Gateshead
A Josh Wilson
free kick caused a goal mouth scramble in the Gateshead
defence, however, the Shaymen couldn’t work the ball home.
clearance put Halifax straight on the back foot as a strike from the edge of the Halifax box, came back off the cross bar and went out for a throw in.
Halifax had one last free kick, but the Gateshead
defence held on, thanks to some brave defending to deny Halifax all three points.