FC Halifax Town drew 0-0 against play off hopefuls Eastleigh with a point not suiting either side. With the home side hunting for league safety and the away side looking to break into the top five, three points was a must in the run in to the game.
Halifax were the better of the two sides with strikes from Richard Peniket and Josh Macdonald almost winning it for Shaymen on a number of occasions.
However Matt Tubbs thought he had won it for his side after the former Portsmouth and Bournemouth striker raced onto a cross at the near post and narrowly poked wide in the 87th minute. If the 31 year old had put the ball in the back of the net his side would have surely left with the win.
The first chance of the game came as Macdonald darted down the right hand side to float a ball into the box for the awaiting Jordan Burrow. But the striker was unable to fully control the ball and successfully get his shot away.
The attacking down the right flank was a trend that continued throughout the first half with Macdonald combining well with full back Jake Hibbs. Despite the supply being plentiful and of good quality, those who were needed to finish the chances were unable to have a clear chance at goal with Eastleigh shot stopper Ross Flitney largely untroubled.
This was true for Halifax’s own Sam Johnson also. Eastleigh struggled to hold the ball for very long and were limited to having chances from set pieces but never really having any real opportunity to break the deadlock.
Shaquille McDonald thought that he would be the man to open the scoring when the forward pounced onto a through ball and found himself one on one with Flitney but the linesman had his flag up long before McDonald had tapped the ball into the back of the net.
Although Johnson didn’t have many chances to save shots, he did manage to impress with his ability in the air. The goalkeeper managed to collect virtually every cross and corner that the away side had pumped into the box. Not only that, his distribution to the forwards was high quality. The quality performance from the goalkeeper was partnered with a solid display by one of his defenders, James Bolton who was equally as commanding in the air and his presence within the back four was clearly influential. The goals may not be streaming in for the Shaymen at the moment, but this display showed how solid they can be defensively.
The best chance for Town came in the second half has the ever impressive MacDonald floated an inch perfect cross towards the back post to find Peniket but the midfielder decided to lay the ball off to the centre of the box instead of trying to trouble the goalkeeper himself. His ball found McDonald who couldn’t pull the ball out from underneath his feet.
It was Peniket who again had a hand in chance that could have won the game for Halifax when he fired a dangerous low cross into the box for one of the strikers to just find the vital touch and poke home, but neither striker could reach far enough and another chance went begging.
The game had its chances but ultimately neither side managed to break the deadlock which could be vital to both sides when their final games come next week.
Halifax will travel to Forest Green in their hunt for survival and the point at home has kept the Shaymen will within reach of climbing out of the drop zone.