FC Halifax Town claimed a hard fought point away at Aldershot Town as the sides drew 1-1.
Antonio German’s first half goal set the home side on their way, as he smashed home from six yards, but a change in system at the break saw the Shaymen come fighting back. Richard Peniket powered his header into the bottom corner just before the hour-mark and the men in blue could have won it late on. Captain, Marc Roberts rose at the back post to meet Paul Marshall’s cross but could only crash his header against the bar.
But it was completely different second half performance by the Shaymen, something that manager, Neil Aspin will be proud of, since the first half was not going in Town’s favour.
Aldershot had the first chance of the game from a corner in the second minute. Sam Hatton played the ball to the edge of the area, where Danny East was waiting. The full-back took aim but fired just wide of Matt Glennon’s near post.
Ten minutes later it was the Shots causing trouble again. Tristan Plummer beat Scott McManus and pulled the ball back for Hatton. He fired towards the bottom corner but James Bolton slid across and blocked the effort on the six yard line.
The home side had started the quickest and once again it was Plummer who was caused problems. The tricky no.10 created some space and whipped in a delicious cross for Jim Stevenson. The midfielder rose highest and pushed the ball with his hand onto the far post, yet the referee believed he directed his effort there with his head.
After their early chances, the Shots eventually made one of them pay. Hatton whipped another corner into the box and it came to German at the front post. The Gillingham loanee received the ball back after his initial effort was blocked, but he was clinical with his second attempt; smashing the ball low and hard past Town bodies and into the net. Danny Schofield tried to block the ball on the line but the effort had too much power on it.
The Shaymen looked to get level straight away as Lois Maynard found space just inside the area. Peniket worked his way down the left and pulled the ball back to Maynard, but the 26-year-old could only see his shot blocked by the Aldershot defence.
As much as Town were tried to get themselves back into the match the home side kept causing problems. East sent over a cross and Roberts failed to clear it. The ball bounced into the path of Brett Williams, who smashed a volley towards the top corner, but Matt Glennon pulled out a top draw save to keep the score at 1-0.
The Shaymen’s best chance of the half came to Roberts from Adam Smith’s corner. The winger sent the ball to the back post and there was Town’s captain to head the ball towards the bottom corner. But Phil Smith got down well and palmed the ball away in the last chance of the first half.
Jamie Jackson came on at the start of the second half and Town changed their system with Smith and Jackson now occupying the wide positions, as the Shaymen looked to get more bodies forward.
German was caused problems once again as he volleyed an effort towards goal. The tall forward found some space on the edge of the area and fired a stinging volley towards goal, but Glennon was on hand to make another good save.
With Smith and Jackson constantly swapping wings, the Shaymen were starting to cause the Shots’ defence problems. Smith drove in from the left and fired just wide of the far post and then minutes later Smith setup Peniket’s goal.
The winger was faced up with former Shaymen, Sean McGinty but curled over a wonderful cross that Peniket got his head to a powered it into the bottom corner. It was the Shaymen’s first goal in five and a half hours of football.
That goal gave Halifax a real incentive and they went on to create a couple of chances from consecutive corners. First, Bolton had his effort blocked away as he turned on the six yard box. Then Maynard came close to latching onto Roberts’ header.
With their new found impetus, the Shaymen kicked on and Peniket nearly had his second of the evening. Bolton playing a lovely pass over the top of the Shots’ back-line and Peniket was clear. The forward charged forward, cut from his right to his left foot, then unleashed an effort aiming for the top corner, only to see Smith fling himself to his right and push the ball over the bar.
The Shots were struggling to find their first-half form after the Shaymen had equalised, but Hatton nearly put his side back in-front if it was not for another brilliant save from Glennon. Hatton lined up a free-kick from 30 yards and curled it towards the top corner, but Glennon pushed it round the post for another fine save.
Town nearly won it in the denying embers of the game as Roberts hit the cross-bar with a header. Marshall sent over a cross and the Shaymen’s captain leapt at the back post but could only crash his header against the bar.