FC Halifax Town’s undefeated run came to an end with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Alfreton Town at the Impact Arena.
Despite dominating the first half, Halifax were unable to replicate the performance in the second, with Craig Westcarr’s neat second half finish separating the two sides.
The opening five minutes seemed reminiscent of the last two Halifax games – neither side could create any clear-cut chances, but Halifax enjoyed more time in possession of the ball.
However, the game soon sprang to life. The first chance fell to the visitors when Danny Clarke’s low cross from the left met the boot of Liam King. The midfielder was unable to put his first-time strike on target and saw the ball go wide of the post.
David Lynch also found himself with the opportunity to score his first Halifax goal fifteen minutes into the game. The midfielder broke through the defence, but his toe-poke shot from just inside the area was saved by Fabian Speiss, albeit after a small parry from the Alfreton shot-stopper.
The opening fifteen minutes were all Halifax’s, with Alfreton not looking dangerous when going forward and not creating any chances. Matty Brown and Scott Garner did well to soak up any pressure the hosts applied to the two centre halves.
Despite between second best in the first twenty minutes, Alfreton ended up nearly breaking the deadlock first. Craig Westcarr’s 30-yard free kick was hit with plenty of power, but was caught well by Sam Johnson to deny the former Mansfield Town man opening the scoring.
Soon after it was Halifax’s time to come close to scoring. Sinnott’s right wing cross ticked all the boxes as it was drilled into the box. It met the towering figure of Tom Denton, but the striker could only head the ball straight into the palms of Speiss.
Chances came thick and fast for Halifax, with Josh Wilde frequently searching the penalty area for the head of Denton and often, finding it. However, the striker was denied time after time by the heads of either Alfreton centre-half or the palms of Speiss.
Despite the dominance from Halifax in the first 45 minutes, the best chance of the game fell to the hosts. Westcarr was played through the middle, rounded Sam Johnson but was unable to put his angled shot on target, the ball striking the advertisement boards behind the goal instead of the back of the net.
Halifax dominated the opening fifteen minutes of the second half just like they had in the first, however the amount of chances created were a lot less. This went against the Shaymen in the 61st minute when Westcarr gave his side the lead.
A Sam Smith cross into the box met the ex-Mansfield man whose first shot was blocked well by Garner. He could pick the ball up once again in the area before turning and firing a curled low shot into the bottom corner past a frozen Johnson.
The goal gave the Reds momentum. Smith was provider for the opening goal and nearly turned goal scorer when he tried his luck with a low shot from 20 yards. Johnson could parry the shot away and the score line remained 1-0.
Halifax had a golden opportunity to level the score line but somehow their goalmouth scramble didn’t result in the net rippling. Roberts’ cross was met by Denton who tried the overhead kick but didn’t connect. A flurry of goal-line attempts ensued but Alfreton could clear and survive.
The momentum did stay with Alfreton. Ryan Wilson had a great opportunity to double the Reds lead with fifteen minutes remaining on the clock. The No3 peeled away down the right and fired away from an angle but Wilde did well to get back, make the block and retrieve the ball.
With under ten minutes remaining, Speiss produced two good saves to deny the Shaymen. Sinnott found Clarke in the box with a neat touch but Speiss was on hand to deny Clarke from close range. Then, a cross from Jordan Sinnott met the head of Garner but Speiss, once again, denied Halifax by tipping the ball over the bar.
This proved to be the last chance for the Shaymen with Alfreton seeing the game out in the dying stages and taking home the three points, ending the Shaymen’s undefeated run.
Next up for Halifax is a West Yorkshire derby against Bradford Park Avenue this Saturday at 3pm at Horsfall Stadium.
Alfreton Town:1) Speiss, 2) Richards, 3) Wilson, 4) Kennedy, 5) McGowan, 6) Monkhouse (c), 7) Shelton, 8) Atkinson, 9) Westcarr, 10) Smith, 11) Allan (Heaton 49’)
Subs: 14) A. Smith, 15) Marshall, 16) Jordan, 17) Heaton
FC Halifax Town: 1) Johnson, 2) Roberts (c), 3) Wilde, 4) King (Morgan 65’), 5) Garner, 6) Brown, 7) Kosylo, 8) Lynch (Hotte, 45’), 9) Denton (Peniket 81’), 10) Sinnott, 11) Clarke
Subs: 12) Drench, 14) Moyo, 15) Hotte, 16) Peniket, 17) Morgan
Yellow Cards: Lynch 21’, Roberts 36’, Garner 40’, Brown 63’, Wilson 75’
Man of the Match: Jordan Sinnott
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