Following FC Halifax Town U19s side beating Hastings United a few days ago which secured them a place in the National League Alliance League Cup, Mark Trueman’s side comfortably cruised to another victory after beating Gateshead by six goals at the home of West Riding County FA.
Halifax started the game well with some clever passes forcing Gateshead to commit the first foul of the game in the opening minutes.
It was the Shaymen who also had the first chances of the game too. Midfielder James Sunderland’s shot was wide of the right goalpost in the third minute of play followed by Ousman Cham feeding a good ball in to the box from the wing, but nobody was on the end of it.
It wasn’t long until Town’s positive start paid dividends though and Marko Basic put the Shaymen ahead in the tenth minute with a powerful strike that was slotted in from close range.
Instantly in search of more goals, Trueman’s side put together a string of pin-point passes until Kelan Swales blasted the ball over the Gateshead bar from just outside the box.
The first scare for Halifax came when Gateshead’s Lewis McGeoch did very well to beat the offside trap and tried to chip the ‘keeper after getting behind the defence. McGeoch’s effort was narrowly wide but the referee pulled play back for a Gateshead free-kick after Shaymen ‘keeper Jack Atkinson was adjudged to have impeded McGeoch when he took the strike. The Gateshead free-kick that was just on the edge of the D was flashed just wide by McGeoch.
McGeoch was involved in play later on as his decent shot was saved by Atkinson halfway through the first period of play.
The Shaymen who had put together a number of good attacking moves with some great long passing then went 2-0 up. The ball was bundled by the Gateshead goalkeeper and was prodded home by Eliel Anku in the 33rd minute.
Kelan Swales then cleverly prodded the ball in between Gateshead defender Evan Juddick’s legs which forced a corner for Halifax. The resulting corner from the left-hand side was met by the head of Abioyo who put the ball over the bar.
Just before half-time, Town had scored a third. Sam Clayton who was solid for the full 90 scored a towering header to add to Gateshead’s woes.
Gary Middleton’s Gateshead side started the second half better than the first but in fact conceded again. Halifax who were brimming with confidence finished off a flowing move in midfield with Anku clenching his brace with a cracking shot in the top right corner to make the score 4-0.
Trueman brought on substitutes Tordoff and Adiele who replaced Swales and Anku as the hour mark approached.
Gateshead’s Liam Carrick then slipped during his defensive duties, which allowed Marko Basic a chance to score, but during the confusion a Gateshead defender handled the ball in the box and the referee awarded the penalty. The subsequent penalty was scored by Basic. His accurate strike in to the left side of the net had seemingly already secured the win for Halifax Town with 30 minutes of football still to play.
The game then became a feisty battle in midfield and Gateshead did do some pressing of their own and created a couple of decent chances, unfortunately for them there was no end product.
In the 70th minute Trueman tinkered with his team again as Tosin Abioyo made way for Jay Benn and the ‘keepers changed with Carl Rushworth entering the pitch.
Despite the score line, Gateshead ‘keeper Ryan Lumsden was desperate to limit the damage against his side. First, by making a great double save to deny the Shaymen a sixth, and then making a trio of great saves right before Ousman Cham scored Halifax’s sixth goal in the 86th minute after seeing the initial shot blocked.
FC Halifax Town’s U19’s manager Matt Trueman was delighted after the result: “It was a great performance, we wanted the performance more than the score line and we did that today”
“After a big game in the cup last week it’s quite easy for players to relax and to underperform but everything I asked for today in terms of work rate, keeping the ball and making it hard for them on a warm day.”
“We’ve just got to keep winning, finish strongly in the league and take that in to the cup final. If these lads perform the way that we want them to, the results will come anyway.”
Full-time score: FC Halifax Town 6-0 Gateshead
FC Halifax Town: Jack Atkinson, Tosin Abioyo, George Glover, Liam Healey, Alex Maloney ©, Sam Clayton, Kelan Swales, James Sunderland, Eliel Anku, Marko Basic, Ousman Cham
SUBS: Carl Rushworth, Spencer Gordon, Edward Tordoff, Mark Adiele, Jay Benn
Gateshead: Ryan Lumsden, Gibril Kamara, Evan Juddier, Dan Ord, Dan Bennett ©, Ben Garrity, Liam Carrick, Liam Robertson, Lewis McGeoch, Joe Arnott, Dan Cranston
SUBS: Innocent Chirinda, James Chapman
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