FC Halifax Town suffered a 2-1 loss to a very strong Bolton Wanderers side, despite Town showing an incredible and dominating second half display and nearly pulling off an incredible result.
Adam le Fondre opened the scoring before Sammy Ameobi doubled the lead, with Mekhi McLeod replying but Town were unable to find another to equalise.
Le Fondre scored the only goal of the first half when Town were caught on the break, with Will Buckley passing across goal to le Fondre who slotted home.
Town almost scored seconds prior to the opener, when Southwell’s long range free kick had to be turned behind by Ben Alnwick, with the resulting corner starting Bolton’s counter attack.
Bolton showed their Championship quality, having a further chance when Sammy Ameobi shot 30 yards from goal, but saw his shot parried behind for a corner by Shaun Rowley.
Former Premier League Player of the Month le Fondre ran down the right wing before seeing his cross excellently challenged by Trialist and being turned behind for a corner.
This did not stop Halifax showing their strength and own quality, as Dayle Southwell proved to be a nuisance to the Wanderers defence on many occasions in the first half.
A long ball controlled by Ben Tomlinson was passed to Southwell, forced wider than hoped by the Bolton defence, making a tight angle and shooting at the side netting.
Southwell and Tomlinson linked up not long after, after Southwell made space and played a through ball into the penalty box, but Alnwick gathered before Tomlinson could get to the ball.
Jordan Preston was also a nuisance, after the midfielder beat Mark Little for strength, turned him and crossed, only for it to result in a Bolton free kick for offside.
Half time came with the Championship side a goal to the good, but Town still strongly in the game, having 45 minutes to turn things around.
However, the challenge became harder when Bolton scored again not long after the second half began, with 6’3” Ameobi leaping high and heading downwards Andrew Taylor’s cross into the net.
Clayton Donaldson almost got in on the act shortly after as he had ball in the back of the net, but an offside call kept the score at 2-0.
However, from that moment on, Town rose and very much matched the Championship opposition in every part of the pitch.
Despite only replying through Mekhi McLeod, the Shaymen had numerous chances to equalise both before and after the goal.
McLeod scored tremendously only minutes after coming on as a substitute, working his way through five players, storming into the area and firing his shot into the bottom left corner.
McLeod almost earned his brace after a challenge on Trialist gave the ball to him, but his curling effort was narrowly over the bar, inches away from bringing Town level.
Tomlinson and Southwell, who proved to be annoying for the Bolton defence throughout the entire first half, did not change their attitude and ran them ragged in the second.
Tomlinson almost scored minutes after Ameobi had scored Bolton’s second, but brilliant defending from Mark Beevers forced Tomlinson wide, who couldn’t find the target with his tight-angled shot.
Southwell nearly scored after a cross from Jacob Hanson found the forward, who controlled the ball in the area, turned but saw his venomous shot kept out by Alnwick’s legs.
Town really put the pressure on after McLeod’s goal, with a Tomlinson free kick finding Trialist whose header across goal was cleared by the Bolton defence.
A similar chance saw King switch play to Tomlinson, within the penalty area, but his header across goal, aimed at Southwell was put behind for a corner.
Town almost equalised when Rowley’s long ball found Trialist, who attempted to chip the onrushing goalkeeper, but couldn’t find the target from 30 yards at a difficult angle.
Rowley made one incredible save in the second half stoppage time, when Craig Noone’s inch-perfect cross found Connor Hall, whose header was superbly kept out by the diving Rowley.
Town next face another Football League opposition in League Two Port Vale, who visit the MBi Shay Stadium on Tuesday night for a 19:45 kick off.
FC Halifax Town: 21 Shaun Rowley, 17 Jacob Hanson, 4 Trialist (c), 5 Trialist, 20 Trialist, 15 Niall Maher, 8 Josh Staunton, 14 Ben Tomlinson, 18 Jordan Preston, 11 Samni Odelusi, 24 Dayle Southwell
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