On a cold Saturday afternoon at The Shay, both sides left with a point following a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Both teams had early opportunities to score in the game and Ollie Clark was the first player to register a shot at Matt Glennon. The home side responded though, and Richard Peniket was unlucky as he curled a shot just wide of the Bristol goal. FC Halifax settled quickly into the game after the first 5 minutes, and were arguably the better side during the opening half hour of the game.
The Shaymen’s will to attack their opponents was evident from the start, and they were rewarded with 24 minutes gone. Adam Smith found himself a bit of space on the right and picked out Lois Maynard at the back post, who squeezed a header past keeper Steve Mildenhall to make it 1-0.
The home side continued to have the better of the half and their lead was doubled with 38minutes gone. Adam Smith won a free-kick in the centre of the goal, and from twenty-five yards out, Paul Marshall dinked a ball to the back post, where Marc Roberts was on hand to delicately slot it home to make it 2-0.
Adam Smith was a threat throughout the half and nearly set up Marc Roberts for his second, but his header at the back post narrowly went over the crossbar.
The away side came out fighting in the second half and were forcing the issue from the off. Substitute Ellis Harrison had an immediate impact when he came on, creating space for himself before narrowly dragging his shot wide of the goal. As Bristol pushed forward, Jamie Jackson found himself in space and went racing through the middle before teeing up Matty Pearson, but his shot was fired high over the bar.
Richard Peniket was the next man to test the Bristol keeper, but his shot from just inside the box went straight into the arms of Steve Mildenhall.
Bristol managed to pull a goal back in the 82nd minute through Lee Brown. The full-back found himself in space on the edge of the box following a corner kick, and he smashed it on the half-volley past a helpless Matt Glennon in the Halifax goal.
As the away side piled on the pressure, super-sub Ellis Harrison managed to neatly take the ball down in the area and fire an 89th minute equaliser past the Halifax keeper. It was heartbreak for the home fans who thought they were going to see their side record a much-needed victory.
In what was a strong performance from the home side though, they will take confidence going into the game against Barnet on Tuesday night.
FC Halifax Town:M. Glennon, S. McManus, M. Roberts, G. Hutchison, S. Bolton, M. Pearson, L. Maynard, P. Marshall, J. Jackson, A. Smith, R. Peniket Subs: P. Senior, S. Boden, K. Roberts, S. Hillhouse, S. Williams
Bristol Rovers:S. Mildenhall, D. Leadbitter, L. Brown, T. Lockyer, M. McCrystal, T. Parkes, L. Mansell, O. Clarke, M. Taylor, C. Lines, A. Monkhouse. Subs: W. Puddy, E. Harrison, A. Dawson, J. Easter, A. Balanta
Referee:D. England Assistant: D. Woodward Assistant: J. Matthews
4th Official:J. Simpson
Attendance:2248 (668 away)
Goals – Halifax:L. Maynard, M. Roberts Bristol Rovers: L. Brown, E. Harrison
Man of the Match:Marc Roberts