Sam Walker inspired FC Halifax Town to a battling one all draw against high flying Woking, at The Laithwaite Community Stadium this afternoon, making it 11 games unbeaten under Jim Harvey.
Town had to come from behind against ten men following Bruno Andrade’s excellent solo effort from just outside the box, after Chris Arthur was sent packing for a terrible two footed tackle on Scott McManus on the half hour mark.
But then, the ever-brilliant Walker stepped up, following winning a freekick on the edge of the Woking area. He struck a beautiful curling effort in the top right hand corner of Jake Cole’s goal to draw Town level, but that would be that for the travelling side.
Jim Harvey gave places on the bench to the returning Richard Peniket and new signing Dino Fazlic, with the unlucky Shaq MacDonald and Connor Hughes dropping out of the team for today’s game.
From the first whistle, Town started the game the brighter of the two sides, with instant pressure being applied to the Woking back line.
The home side then began to gain a foothold of the game, and after an inch perfect freekick from Chris Arthur that was met by the head of Joey Jones, Sam Johnson made his first comfortable save of the afternoon to keep the tie level.
The men in blue then had Sam Johnson to thank once again, after a needless foul conceded 25 yards out, Giuseppe Sole hit a wonderful curling dead ball, but Johnson flew high to his right to claw the ball away for a corner on 11 minutes.
Six minutes later, following a long goal kick from Johnson the ball found the feet of Jordan Burrow, who jinked his way into the box, but from the left hand side of the area his shot hit the side netting.
The game suddenly sparked into life on 24 minutes, following a horrific tackle from Chris Arthur. The full back took a heavy touch, and went in two footed over the ball on Scott McManus, Mr. Hopkins deemed the challenge dangerous and sent the number three for an early bath.
Pressure then began to be applied by the travelling Town, as Sam Walker had a shot deflected over the bar from a corner kick that was won following a deflected Walker freekick.
But then, with 35 minutes on the clock, Town lost possession inside the Woking half and Bruno Andrade picked up the lose ball and ran 60 yards, jinked inside Bencherif and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the bottom left hand corner of Johnson’s goal to give his side the lead.
In an end-to-end action packed game, Sam Walker then drew a freekick on the edge of the Woking area on 38 minutes. The Manchester man stepped up and hit a beautiful curling effort into the top right bin, and drew his side level.
The referee then blew to bring to an end a very action packed first half of football, with Town heading into the break the stronger side.
Following a change of referee in the half time break through an injury to Mr. Hopkins, the game sparked back into life.
After just four minutes of the second 45, Woking rattled the crossbar thanks to Matt Robinson. His shot from just outside the Town box struck Matt Brown as he got in the way, and it struck the bar. A lifeline for FC Halifax Town.
Town then started to show their frustration with not being able to break down a hard defending Woking side, as McManus drew a needless foul and was lucky to walk away with warning.
Sam Walker could then of doubled his and his sides goal tally for the afternoon, after looping a freekick into the box, which evaded everyone and just missed the far post.
That would be then the end of Walker’s excellent day, as he was replaced for new signing Dino Fazlic on 60 minutes.
Town then a had great chance created by James, who found McManus down the left hand side and he powered into the box, McManus looked for a low cross but it just hit the defender and was seen into the hands of Jake Cole.
Town started to hold the possession of the game and Woking sat back, with substitute Josh MacDonald seeing most of the ball.
But then it was Shaun Tuton who darted down the wing with 13 minutes remaining of the game, who crossed the ball into the path of Kingsley James who’s shot was well over the bar.
MacDonald was then involved once again, he picked the ball back up out on the right hand side and jinked his way into the box. He then unleashed a shot and Cole spilled it out for a corner.
Ten minutes remained of the game and you could just sense there would be one last twist of the tale, and there very nearly was as substitute Richard Peniket hit a shot but was just saved by Cole, and that would be that for FC Halifax Town who made it 11 game unbeaten under Jim Harvey.
FC Halifax Town: 23. S. Johnson, 2. J. Bolton, 3. S. McManus, 6. H. Bencherif, 14. M. Brown, 15. K. Roberts (MacDonald 71’), 35. N. Wroe (C), 4. K. James (Peniket 82’), 11. S. Walker (Fazlic 60’), 18. S. Tuton, 9. J. Burrow.
Subs: 1. J. Porter, 12. R. Peniket, 16. J. Hibbs, 8. Dino Fazlic, 17. J. MacDonald.
Woking FC: 1. J. Cole, 3. C. Arther (RED 24’), 4. M. Ricketts (C), 5. B. Saah, 7. J. Jones, 8. K. Murtagh, 10. G. Sole (Robinson 30’), 11. J. Goddard, 15. B. Andrade (Caprice 67’), 19. J. Quigley, 26. C. Norman.
Subs: 2. J. Caprice, 12. G. Poku, 14. M. Robinson, 18. N. Hamman, 20. A. Smith.
Referee: Mr Adam Hopkins
Asst Refs: Mr Adam Ricketts, Mr Aji Abibola