FC Halifax Town’s Vanarama National League campaign came to a close this afternoon at The Shay, as they lost a close affair 2-1 to Chesterfield.
Liam Mandeville’s headed opener was cancelled out by a good strike from Darren Stephenson in the first-half, before a late Nathan Tyson goal saw the Spireites secure all three points and a play-off place.
Town started the game on the front foot, with a free kick in the 7th minute from Luke Summerfield cut back to Jeff King, who saw an effort blocked, before a Neill Byrne cross flashed across the face of the area, just out of reach of Jake Hyde a few minutes later.
However, it was Chesterfield who opened the scoring in the 14th minute. A long throw-in from the left was flicked onto Liam Mandeville, who’s header found the bottom right corner to give the visitors the early advantage.
The game turned into a cagey affair after the first goal, with both sides struggling to craft any goal scoring opportunities, and much of the game being contested in the middle of the park.
That was until the 31st minute, when the Shaymen had their equaliser. Darren Stephenson picked the ball up on the right and cut inside, initially giving away possession before winning it back off defender Joel Taylor, before unleashing a powerful left footed strike that found the bottom right corner, restoring parity between the two sides.
Buoyed by the return of the fans who were backing their team all the way, The Shaymen began to get on top after the equaliser. In the 36th minute, Jeff King played it to Martin Woods who got a good shot away 25 yards from goal that narrowly went over the bar, before having a penalty appeal denied by the referee after a Jack Senior cross appeared to hit the hand of a Spireites defender.
The Shaymen again came close to taking an all-important lead in their hunt for the play-offs in the 41st minute. Martin Woods did well to control in the centre of the park before playing a clever ball through on goal for Jake Hyde, who’s right footed effort went narrowly wide of the post, as Town continued to dominate the half’s latter stages.
Despite being on top, Chesterfield were unlucky not to capitalise on a good opportunity just minutes later. A clever lofted through ball from Joel Taylor on the left appeared to find George Carline in acres of space, bearing down on goal, however the Spireites right-back slipped at the crucial moment, and the chance was wasted.
That was to be all the action in the first half, as the sides went in all square at the break, with the score 1-1.
With results as they stood meaning a Halifax goal would see them move into the play-offs, Town started the second half in a similar fashion to how they finished the first. In the 50th minute, Jake Hyde was twice denied with headed efforts in the penalty area with a save from goalkeeper James Montgomery and the ball cleared off the line, before Kieran Green narrowly fired over the bar on the volley.
The visitors continued to threaten however, and came close to a lead of their own in the 54th minute. A good shot from the right by George Carline was well saved by Sam Johnson, before the ball was reworked to Emmanuel Oyeleke, who saw his strike from outside the area blocked.
With results elsewhere meaning both sides needed to score to have a chance of making the play-offs, the game began to open up as the game approached its latter stages. Substitute Jamie Allen looked lively after coming on, and did well to advance into the box in the 67th minute, but could only find the side netting, before a Nathan Tyson strike was comfortably saved by Sam Johnson moments later.
Despite chances for both sides, it was Chesterfield who managed to get the crucial goal. A low cross from Liam Mandeville on the right picked out Nathan Tyson at the back post, who couldn’t miss and stroked the ball into the empty net to make it 2-1 to the visitors.
Halifax continued to push for an equaliser but couldn’t quite find the final ball to create a vital opportunity, and the game finished FC Halifax Town 1-2 Chesterfield.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King, 3 Jack Senior (33 Tahvon Campbell 87), 4 Nathan Clarke ©, 5 Neill Byrne, 8 Kieran Green, 9 Jake Hyde, 19 Luke Summerfield, 26 Martin Woods, 28 Darren Stephenson (7 Jamie Allen 65), 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 12 Harrison Davison-Hale, 6 Tom Bradbury, 30 Kian Spence
Chesterfield: 35 James Montgomery, 2 George Carline, 5 Will Evans, 7 Laurence Maguire, 8 Curtis Weston, 10 Liam Mandeville (17 Jak McCourt 84) , 15 Joel Taylor (29 Alex Whittle 46), 16 Jack Clarke, 33 Gavin Gunning ©, 36 Danny Rowe (18 Nathan Tyson 36), 38 Emmanuel Oyeleke
Subs: 22 Tom Whelan, 39 Adi Yussuf
Referee: Lewis Smith
Goals: Mandeville 14, Stephenson 31, Tyson 79
Yellow Cards Whittle 68, Maguire 90
FC Halifax Town 1 Chesterfield 2
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