FC Halifax Town fought a tough battle with Ebbsfleet United in a 0-0 draw at the MBi Shay Stadium under the floodlights.
It was another clean sheet for Jamie Fullarton’s side with Halifax hosting one of the best defensive records in the league. 6 clean sheets in a row at home, is an impressive stat for any side.
The Shaymen certainly started the better of the two teams. Loan due, Devante Rodney and Manny Duku having good chances early on.
Just a minute in Rodney picked up a loose ball in the box and worked himself a shooting chance. Which was turned behind by Nathan Ashmore in the away sides goal.
The resulting corner saw the ball fall to Nathan Clarke in a crossing position. The centre back’s chipped cross was turned goalwards by Rodney, but the effort was just over the bar.
The Shaymen tried to hit on the counter-attack as often as possible. Duku was slipped through by Matty Kosylo on a couple of occasions but the number 34 couldn’t capitalise.
Sam Johnson had to spring into action in the 24thminute when Michael Cheek struck a sweet volley towards goal as the ball bounced in the area.
Another chance fell to Rodney on the 32ndminute and this one was all his own work. He spun his man on the halfway line and drove towards goal. He was forced a little wide and his shot was saved well down low by Ashmore.
Kosylo had the next chance of the game. A very neat one-two between him and Duku saw the number 7 create space for the shot. The chipped effort was blocked by the on-rushing Ashmore’s face and out for a corner.
If that was a good save, his next was even better. A cross towards the back post was headed back from the direction it came from, and Johnson leapt across his line to claw away with one hand.
In the second half, there were certainly fewer chances with both defences putting in outstanding performances.
Duku had the first effort of the second half. His looping header from the edge of the box was tipped onto the crossbar by Ashmore and out for a corner kick.
Kosylo again had a good effort midway through the half which many Shaymen fans thought flew into the back of the net, instead of the side netting. He picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box and smashed a ferocious effort just wide from the corner of the box.
Two negatives in the second half were some injury worries for Jamie Fullarton. Niall Maher was the first to come off. He had gone down just before half time after hurting himself blocking a clearance but was able to carry on. After going into a 50/50 challenge right in front of the home side dugout, Maher instantly pointed to his thigh and signalled for a change. He was replaced by Jordan Preston.
The second to come off was Michael Duckworth. The right-back has had a solid second half to the season and was playing well in this game too. He went down in the 67thminute and was replaced by Cameron King.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Michael Duckworth (King,67), 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Matty Brown ©, 6 Josh Staunton,7 Matty Kosylo, 18 James Berrett, 31 Niall Maher (Preston,52), 34 Manny Duku (Quigley,80), 35 Devante Rodney, 39 Joe Skarz
Subs: 21 Shaun Rowley, 8 Cameron King, 19 Jordan Preston, 33 Ryan Gondoh, 37 Scott Quigley
Ebbsfleet United: 1 Nathan Ashmore, 2 Jack King ©, 3 Sam Magri, 4 Dean Rance, 8 Ebrima Adams (Drury,67), 11 Myles Weston (Graham,75), 12 Michael Cheek (Kedwell,80), 15 Gozie Ugwu, 16 Jack Payne, 19 Chris Bush, 23 Lawrie Wilson
Subs: 9 Danny Kedwell, 10 Andy Drury, 14 Freddy Moncur, 18 Corey Whitely, 22 Bagasan Graham
Yellow Cards: Chris Bush (90)
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1073 (24 away
MOTM: Sam Johnson
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