‘Seven Days’ on from the heavy defeat at Preston a more familiar line-up returned to face Bury who have been a bit of‘Voodoo’ in recent times. Decision was to go with a ‘Power of 5’ across midfield. Adie was unavailable as the ‘Wannabe’ actor had some lines to learn. JB had made the decision to spice up the squad with the addition of 3 players from the junior team. It was Adam Probets 200th AFC appearance, a great achievement and one which was rewarded with the skipper’s armband, a bottle of champagne and a pretty abject team performance.
The game kicked off with instructions to work the channels and turn the defence. This was ignored and the team started slowly. It wasn’t long before Bury were allowed a virtually unchallenged header from a corner. 1-0. Soon after Bury was afforded too much space and AFC’s defence was overloaded and it was 2-0.
Halifax did have the chance to pull one back when Andy Littlefair was brought down by the onrushing Bury no1. In a sign of things to come, Ben Fawkes penalty was well-saved.
Mid-way through the half a pull-back from Andy found Lewis Blackburn who slotted coolly home from 8 yards out. This made him AFC Halifax’s youngest ever goal-scorer beating the record previously held by Matty Thompson and even more special as the son of AFC’s founder Matthew Blackburn. The deficit was trimmed as two became one and Halifax’s hopes were raised.
Unfortunately not long after, a great strike from distance from one of Bury’s central midfielders came crashing back off the bar and he put in his own rebound. This was ‘Too much’ for JB who asked where he’d come from. Truth being from about 25 yards out whilst the team stood and watched
Halifax was struggling with the pace up front as Bury took advantage of the space in behind the wingbacks and defence. The Bury midfield had too much time to pick their passes and too often their runs weren’t followed. At half-time and the score at 3-1 (or maybe 4-1) an improvement was needed.
It didn’t happen as Bury scored again from a corner. Marcus was switched back to his more familiar striking role as junior Cass came on for his debut. Marcus was able to pick up 2 goals – one through a back-heel after a cross from the right and the second after being laid on by Adam Ramsden. It was great to see ‘Rambo’ back after one of the worst sounding injuries that football has possibly ever heard.
Bury had a 2 on 1 which they managed to butcher and put wide but Lou decided it was a corner as people couldn’t be that incompetent. As Wrighty continued to ‘Holler’ at Lou, they scored from the resulting corner. This didn’t improve Wrighty’s mood.
John Ludders kept up his Frank Lampard impression finding a second deflected goal in as many weeks. This one was a side-footed strike from the edge of the box. 6-4 and possibly game on. Or not, 7-4, 8-4, 9-4, 10-4 and 11-4. Game off. Some goals good, some acrobatic, some balls in behind, another free-kick back off the crossbar and some I’ve forgotten.
Finally, Lou called a ‘Stop’ to it all much to the relief of everyone. What followed was a few home truths and JB saying ‘‘Tell me why’ are we not performing?’ Special mention must be given to the three juniors- Lewis, Cass and Nathan- who all acquitted themselves admirably, never shirked a challenge and didn’t look out of place. A credit to the juniors and Matty Blackburn.
It is important to ‘Never Give Up on the Good Times’, it isn’t too long since the excellent performance at Man City and how the team played to start against West Brom. On to Hull next week and hopefully an improvement in performance and result. ‘Headlines’ are already being written about the unavailability of Alex to dress his dog up and walk it round Brighouse market. A disappointing trend in player unavailability, perhaps too much girl power.
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