Lambs bow out at The Shay
15 December 2015
After the initial postponement knocked the FA Trophy 1st Round fixture back from Saturday to Tuesday the Shay stadium still looked a little wet, and the rain on the way to West Yorkshire lead some to think the game may be in doubt again, but the small band of travelling fans who were able to make the trip were well sheltered in the 14,000 capacity ground from the damp fog that covered the area.
With the exception of one sub less, Lambs boss Andy Morrell made no changes to the teamsheet that he had submitted before the 3-0 victory over Worcester made it eight games unbeaten and win to make it nine would see them welcome Nation League side Barrow to The Lamb in the next round.
Halifax kicked off the game and with all fans located in the newest stand on the main road side of the ground Tamworth attacked the goal to the left.
The home side forced an early corner and although the ball was bundled home a foul on Belshaw denied them the opening goal.
After a short delay the keeper continued and a second corner came on 5. Belshaw did well to punch clear a low cross from the left from Wroe on 10 but was left asking questions of his defence who seemed as sixes and sevens when the ball squirmed through.
Then on 13, James's sensational strike from outside the area confused everyone and it looked to be going over but may have taken a deflection and dipped under the bar. (0-1, 13 mins)
Clarke forced a left sided corner from the kick off and it came to nothing, before Durrell made headway through the middle on 16 and shot low but wide of the left hand post from outside the box.
Burns cross was blocked behind for a right sided corner on 24 and Durrell’s ball in fell to Tomassen but he shot was easy for Johnson to catch by his near post.
It was 2-0 to Halifax on 28 when Wroe’s shot was blocked by The Lambs defence but it fell nicely for McDonald to drill home from 18 yards past Belshaw (2-0, 28 mins)
Fowler tried his luck from 20 yards on 32 but it curled harmlessly away off his right boot and failed to go near Johnson’s goal.
A good save from Johnson denied former Shayman Dyer from half volleying home Taylor's teasing far post cross on 38 and from the corner Tamworth pressed, however a fine switched pass between Wroe and McDonald allowed the latter to sprint through and shoot straight at Belshaw from the angle.
Play halted around 40 when Durrell required treatment on the edge of the Shaymen penalty area following a knock on his ankle, and the two squads enjoyed a quick drinks break before play restarted with a throw back to Belshaw.
Durrell wasn’t out of action for long and his run then shot brought a right sided corner on 42 but the ball back in was too long. Four minutes added time was shown at the end of the first half and a last ditch tackle from Preston denied McDonald a shot from the right of the box.
The debutant forward needed treatment before a final corner of the half for the home side which was cleared by Fowler shortly the HT whistle blew.
Tamworth got the second half underway with the rain still mistily covering the beams of light from the floodlights in each corner and went on the attack straight away but Johnson smothered the loose ball.
A corner on the right from Durrell on 48 was met by a diving header from Dyer but it was straight at Johnson. Durrell’s right wing ball was met by Clarke’s far post header and it looped inside the far post on 51 but was ruled out for a foul in the build up.
Durrell wove his way through the Town defence to get a shot at Johnson on 54 as Tamworth continues to try and get back into the game.
He tried to get around the back of the left back in the box on 57 too, but span his shot away, off target. When captain Wroe robbed Preston 30 yards out and advanced directly towards goal Belshaw made a good save but the ball span up and Wroe mopped up the rebound with a sliding finish. (0-3, 58 mins).
Taylors’s work down the left forced an opening on the hour and the ball rebounded to Tomassen but his instinctual header was cleared away quickly.
A low shot from Burrows was collected by Belshaw on 68 and Strong conceded the corner rather than allow a cross in the same minute, which was drilled in for Bolton to strike but he couldn’t keep it from going high over the target.
Clarke struck from distance, just wide of the right hand post on 70 but the minutes were ticking away for a comeback.
On 79 substitute Hughes cut in from the left and his shot took a slight deflection to wrong foot Belshaw and beat him at his near post (0-4, 79 mins)
Superb improvisation from Durrell saw his swirl the ball into the box for Mettam but his headed effort was pushed away one handed by Johnson on 87.
The next move was by the home side though and James netted his second after a square ball from Hughes on the left set him up with a low finish from 6 yards. (0-5, 87 mins)
Two minutes added time was shown at the end of the game which ended with the Lambs players applauding the travelling fans.
Belshaw, Burns, Taylor, Fowler (Mettam 62), Heaton, Preston (c.), Durrell, Clarke, Dyer (Davies 79), Tomassen (Smith 62), Strong
Yellow: Taylor 84
FC Halifax Town Team:
Johnson, Roberts, McManus, Bolton, Bencherif, Clappison (Walker 69), Wroe (c.), James, S. McDonald (MacDonald 59), Tuton (Hughes 71), Burrow
Subs: Porter, Hibbs
Referee: Mr. P. Marsden