Shaymen are up four a title challenge
20 August 2016
After the three goal reversal at York Street on Tuesday night, Andy Morrell took his squad to The Shay to face the early league leaders in high flying Halifax, and although at this stage in the season it would be difficult and foolish to predict the final table the home side were definitely looking for more of the same as Morrell expected a response to the midweek defeat to Boston.
Morrell made two changes to the starting eleven against The Pilgrims with Louis Briscoe making his first start of the campaign and Greg Mills returning to the side at the expense of Ross Dyer and Connor Taylor.
The Lambs, in the yellow away kit, got the game underway but immediately lost the ball and the home side advanced looking for Denton up front to add to his half dozen goals already.
With the rain showering on a 3-4-3 formation, Tamworth tried to get over the half way line but found the going tough in the early exchanges.
The Shaymen forced the first corner of the game on 6 on the left of the field and it was drilled low and took a deflection to take it out for a goalkick.
Denton and Kosylo combined but the latter was unable to get a powerful shot away inside the area on 9 allowing Lane time to clear the danger as the wind whipped an advertising hoarding into the field of play!
As the 15 minute mark approached and passed neither side was looking like making progress at either end until Sinnot spotted and opening and drove for goal from 25 yards forcing Belshaw to dive to his right and push the ball away to safety, Halifax forced their second corner on 18 but it was gathered by Belshaw and Tamworth broke to the other end and Mills almost got the better of his marker but was unable to take it around him and along the touchline. Mills found Breslin and his low ball across the box was put behind for a corner on 20 with Briscoe closing in, and so Davies struck the flagkick into the danger area before going out for a Lambs throw.
On 24 Kosylo drove the ball across the box from the left of the area and it went out past the far post, but only would have needed touch to open the scoring.
And the home side did just that on 25 when a floated ball in from midfield was met with a looping header from Hone which beat everyone including Belshaw. (0-1)
Home captain Roberts was booked for a late tackle on Mills on the halfway line on 28 and Lane took a knock on 32 which meant a break on play for a minute or two while he received treatment.
Briscoe fed Mills with a clever pass into the area on 34 but it ran away from him under challenge from the Shay defence and he was unable to get a shot away.
On 36 former Lamb Peniket headed home at the far post after a well practised long throw had been flicked on and not dealt with (0-2) and four minutes later Halifax exposed an opening at the back allowing Sinnot to strike low into the bottom right corner from 20 yards out. (0-3)
Peniket looked for a second on 42 but his shot from the left of the box rose over the target and failed to trouble Belshaw.
Two minutes added time was played at the end of the first half which ended without further incident and would not be remembered well by the travelling fans.
Halifax restarted the game with the sun shining but the rain also coming down in a fine but persistent drizzle. Davies caught Wilde on the touchline with astray boot on 46 and was booked for his efforts.
Breslin glanced a header behind for a home corner on 50 which was headed goalward but cannoned off the top of the crossbar and out for a goalkick.
A strong move forward ended with Newton forcing a corner from Drench’s save on 52 but Halifax cleared their lines.
Davies ball through to Mills on 55 saw the number 7 cannon it off his defender for another corner but Drench was more than equal to it and Halifax advanced.
Peniket bagged his second of the game on 57 when a cross from the left hand half volleyed at Belshaw by Denton and the keeper parried it but not smothered and Peniket followed it in at the far post (0-4)
Davies freekick from the right of the box was taken by Drench on the hour and Morrell made a double change.
From Breslin’s left wing ball, Clarke directed a header over the target when well placed on 65.
At the other end a low finger tip save from Belshaw denied Peniket a placed shot aiming for the far corner on 69 and the same player was close from the resulting corner too.
Peniket curled a shot high and wide on 72 and substitute Hughes hit a hopeful effort over the cross bar from a similar distance on 74 and the home side went in search of a fifth, but there would be no hat-trick for Peniket as he was replace with 15 to go.
On 76 there was a heart in mouth moment when Belshaw raced out and brought Denton down outside the area but was only booked as he wasn't the last man.
Sinnot struck the freekick from 25 yards and it clipped the bar on the way out of play. Newton forced Drench to push the ball behind for a corner via a driven effort on 82 and some pressure kept the ball in the final third for a short while.
A shot from Mills off Newton’s through ball brought a simple but required save from Drench on 86 and Belshaw dived to his left to push Denton’s diving header away from danger following Hughes’ left wing cross on 87.
Three minutes added time was shown at the end of the game and the rain continued to fall on The Shay as the final whistle blew but it was definitely not dampening the home fans spirits.
Belshaw (c.), Burns, Breslin, Deeney (Taylor 61), Tomassen, Lane, Mills, Clarke, Newton Briscoe (Smith 61), Davies
Subs: Ezewele, Dyer, Morrell, Briscoe
Booked: Davies 46, Belshaw 76
FC Halifax Town Team:
Drench, Hibbs (King 83), Wilde, Roberts (c.), Hone, Garner, Macdonald, Kosylo (Hughes 73), Denton, Sinnott, Peniket ( 75)
Subs: Nicholson, Baldwin
Booked: Roberts 28
Referee: Mr. B. Khatib