Jack Earing’s 12th minute goal was enough to secure 3 points for FC Halifax Town from their away fixture at Altrincham and the points further strengthen The Shaymen’s surge towards a play-off spot. In truth it wasn’t a classic but instead a competitive encounter on a bobbly surface that made flowing football hard to come by but it’s the points that count at this stage of the season.
Danny Williams for Jack Senior in the left wing back role was the only change Pete Wild made to the starting line up from Easter Monday’s win against Weymouth for the trip to the J Davidson Stadium to face Altrincham FC.
Both side struggled in the cagey opening period and it took 8 minutes for any goalmouth action of note when a flowing Altrincham move on the right found Josh Hancock in the penalty area and the strikers shot was turned onto the bar by Sam Johnson.
Town replied with a good move involving Jeff King and Jamie Allen with Jake Hyde adjudged to have handled the cross. The opening goal came moments later in the 12 minute. Niall Maher won a midfield area battle with the ball breaking to Jack Earing who looked to be heading towards the right side of the pitch but he cut back onto his left side and shot home powerfully from 20 yards giving Tony Thompson in the home goal no chance.
Ryan Colclough forced Sam Johnson into a low save and then had a cross blocked by Nathan Clarke as The Robins looked for an equaliser. Town responded with a rapid counter attack involving Jamie Allen and Jeff King whose cross was cleared for a corner with Hyde ready to pounce.
A number of Town corners came to nothing and the half ended with a free kick in a central position 30 yards from goal but Niall Maher’s free kick hit the wall.
The home side came out in a positive manner at the start of the 2nd half. Toby Mullarkey had a shot deflected for a corner. Town replied with a Jeff King run but his pass failed to find Danny Williams in space in the penalty area. Josh Hancock worked a shooting opportunity for Altrincham but scuffed his shot. The home side brought on former FC Halifax Town loan players in Nyal Bell and James Hardy as they sought an equaliser and Luke Summerfield also joined the action after a 12 games absence.
Sam Johnson pulled off a fine save to deny Yusifu Ceesay and watched a looping header from Bell clear the bar before denying Colclough. Town remained a danger on the counter attack with Earing continuing to impress but the final ball too often went astray.
Town return home with the 3 points and now face Wrexham at The Shay on Tuesday evening
1 Tony Thompson, 5 Tom Hannigan, 6 Jake Moult ©, 8 Sean Williams, 9 Joe Piggott (19 Nyal Bell 65), 10 Josh Hancock (32 James Hardy 65), 11 Yusifu Ceesay, 19 Reagan Ogle, 24 Joel Senior, 25 Toby Mullarkey, 34 Ryan Colclough
Subs: 21 Matty Gould, 23 Tom Peers, 30 Simon Richman
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King (19 Luke Summerfield 69), 4 Nathan Clarke ©, 5 Neill Byrne, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green (26 Martin Woods 73), 9 Jake Hyde, 10 Jack Earing, 11 Danny Williams (3 Jack Senior 82), 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 40 Chris Renshaw, Micah Obiero
Referee: Adam Herczag
Goals: Earing 12
Yellow Cards: Williams 69
Altrincham 0 FC Halifax Town 1
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