FC Halifax Town have been relegated to the Vanarama National League North after drawing 1-1 with Macclesfield Town at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Scott McManus opened the scoring for the Shaymen just moments before the interval but Danny Rowe’s leveller along with victories elsewhere for Boreham Wood and Guiseley meant a draw would not be enough for the home side.
Halifax dominated long periods of the game and missed a fantastic opportunity to snatch it at the death when Kevin Roberts effort slammed against the post before being fired over the bar by Danny Hattersley.
The first chance of the afternoon fell to loan-star Shaquille McDonald after Josh MacDonald slid the 20-year-old through on goal, but his low effort was saved well by Macclesfield keeper Ritchie Branagan.
Macclesfield wide-man Danny Rowe was causing Halifax problems throughout the first half. His pace regularly getting the better of Jake Hibbs at right-back.
Just after the half-an-hour mark Halifax nearly took the lead. Richard Peniket rode numerous challenges down the left and managed to hook the ball back to Jordan Burrow, waiting on the penalty spot, but his shot was stopped by Branagan. MacDonald followed up with the rebound but fired it high into the North Stand.
The opener came just moments before the interval. Peniket continued to cause problems for Macclesfield from wide and slotted the ball through for left-back Scott McManus who powered the ball home from close range. As it stood, Halifax were now surviving.
The Shaymen started the second half by far the better side. Conor Hughes nearly made a telling impact early causing a moment of madness in the Macclesfield goal-mouth. Hughes’ mazy run and long range drive forced a strong save out of Branagan yet again. The ball then fell nicely to striker Jordan Burrow but once more it would be Macclesfield keeper on hand to deny Halifax from doubling their lead.
As the final whistle drew closer Macclesfield began to pile on the pressure. Target-man Jack Sampson regularly won vital aerial battles and was on hand to flick the ball through to Rowe, who curled his volley delicately around Sam Johnson to silence the Shay. Macclesfield were level.
Midfielder Kingsley James attempts to rally the troops almost payed off as he battled his way into the area before climbing highest to head Josh McDonald’s cross looping over the keeper but just wide of the far post.
With news coming in that Boreham Wood had secured a convincing 3-0 win over Welling United and underdogs Guiseley had snatched a remarkable 4-3 victory away Torquay United, Halifax now needed nothing short of a victory to keep their National League status.
As the officials signalled for added time, Town were beginning to lump balls forward themselves and were inches away from grasping a golden opportunity to snatch survival. Kevin Robert rose highest to see his free header slam against the near post before side-footing his rebound high over the crossbar. It would prove to be Halifax’s last chance of the season.
The full-time whistle was met with a frustrated invasion of the pitch. FC Halifax Town were now relegated to the National League North.