FC Halifax Town
kept up their 100% record at home with a 1-0 victory against high-flying Southport
It was shaping up to be a frustrating afternoon all round until the 81st minute, when Kevin Holsgrove showed good composure when put through one-on-one with Southport
goalkeeper Danny Hurst, to slot the ball home and give The Shaymen all three points.
The victory stretched Town’s unbeaten run to four games and was their second consecutive home clean sheet and it was fully deserved.
It was a very tentative opening 45 minutes with chances coming few and far between. The visitors started with a containing formation and were looking to hit The Shaymen on the break with the pace and trickery of Osayamen Osawe, but they created very little.
In fact, the first of the only two real chances of the half fell to Marc Roberts, whose aerial dominance was both a threat offensively and solid defensively. He saw his header form Adam Smith’s corner cleared off the line after just six minutes.
Roberts wasn’t the only player to see an effort on goal thwarted by a goal line clearance, Lee Gregory
, looking for his 5th goal in as many games in the Skrill Premier, connected with a sweet volley on the turn from twelve yards out and it looked as if it would be nestling into the back of the net with the goalkeeper beaten, but a covering defender prevented Gregory from opening the scoring.
Lois Maynard was impressive in midfield and was the man that seemed to be turning defence into attack for The Shaymen, using his long strides to glide past Southport
’s players before passing the ball to the attacking quartet of players in front of him.
The second half started off as the first had ended with both teams enjoying large spells of possession in midfield without really creating any chances of note.
It wasn’t until the 60th minute that either goalkeeper had to make their first save after the restart with Lois Maynard striking a speculative dipping volley from distance was saved comfortably by Danny Hurst.
Hurst was called into action again moments later when Kevin Holsgrove stung his palms with a rasping drive from distance after a quick free-kick had been taken. Lee Gregory
was unable to get to the rebound before Hurst and when Pearson went sprawling in the penalty area as he went for the ball, FC Halifax Town
fans and players alike saw their appeals for a penalty waved away by the referee.
With time running out and it looking like there would be a stalemate, Adam Smith had a chance to break the deadlock but he was always stretching to get to the ball and saw his shot go into the side netting.
Substitute Dan Gardner
also had a chance when he wriggled free in the penalty area but his cutback was smothered by the Southport
The Shaymen found a renewed sense of urgency with ten minutes to go and there was only going to be one winner if they could just find that solitary goal that they were pushing for.
Kevin Holsgrove stepped up with the winner with nine minutes remaining, after being put through by a precise ball from Dan Gardner
. Holsgrove who started the game on the left, found himself in the centre forwards position after birthday boy Lee Gregory
was injured, and he showed all the composure of a centre forward, keeping his head to secure the victory.
Attendance:1583 (157 away fans)
FC Halifax Town
: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Pearson, Roberts, Ainge, Smith (Lowe 81), Maynard, Wilson (Gardner 58), Holsgrove, Gregory (Johnson 65)
Subs: Senior, Lowe, Gardner, Briggs, Johnson
: Hurst, Challoner, Flynn, George, Fitzpatrick, Chalmers, Ledsham (Irie-Bi 64), Brown (Milligan 45), Rutherford (Tames 75), Hattersley, Osawe.
Subs: Stevenson, Smith, Irie-Bi, Milligan, Tames.
Yellow cards: Toulson, Ainge, Irie-Bi