A beautiful spring day with little chance of ‘Aqua‘ falling from the sky set the scene for Manchester United Supporters (sporting dark blue and some very bad ‘t.A.T.u‘s) Vs AFC Halifax (wearing their orange attire), where last time the lads from Yorkshire fell short in a 4-3 defeat.
After a thorough warm up AFC Halifax started the game slowly, the boys in Orange were confident and thought it would be an easy match against United, who spent their warm up time having a cigarette like ‘Daft Punks’.
Replicating PSG’s 1st leg performance against their own team in ‘Europe‘, Manchester United went 2-0 up thanks to two defensive errors which showed the United winger the far corner, and another which allowed the United striker to ‘Abba‘ shot and lob the Halifax keeper, Harry, who clawed for the ball but couldn’t make it.
This shaky start did not last for long with AFC soon showing their ‘Craftwork‘, passing the ball along the floor like they do best and making the United midfield fight for possession. Soon after they settled into the game, Marcus channelled his inner James Rodriguez at the edge of the United box, chesting the ball perfectly for a volley which looped over the keeper and hit the crossbar. Luckily, Andy Littlefair was on his toes and managed to regurgitate the ball and scoop the ball into the back of the net.
The shoddy defending from AFC did not end there, after tireless efforts from Adie Hollands and Adam Probets at CB, the United winger found a way through leaving skipper Matthew Blackburn at the back who had to bring down the striker for a penalty kick… well, he could have cleared the ball, but he didn’t. Despite Harry’s best efforts after guessing the right way, there was too much power on the shot which was ‘Bjorkd’ right in the bottom left hand corner.
Utd 3-1 AFC. Game on.
From this point onwards, it was almost all AFC Halifax. After a run down the right-hand side from Littlefair, he managed to work his way in to the box and found himself being hacked at by the United defender, after a strong penalty claim from the entire AFC squad, the ref said, ‘I gave them one but that’s not one for ‘U2′. The ref had to separate ‘Monsters and Men‘ at times but did always control the game despite the occasional shout from A. Probets.
Scrambling to close the gap once more, Martin Probets stepped up who smashed the ball in to the back of the net, leaving the keeper little chance to get anything on it. Trailing by one again, the AFC boys seemed a little sluggish and yet another defensive error showed the United striker 8 yards from goal, rolling the ball into the bottom corner. A moment of magic was then required with ten minutes left to go of the first half, and Adam Probets who decided to wander up to the edge of the box leaving his post at CB who chipped a delightful ball over the top of the United defence, allowing Littlefair to volley in from close range.
Half time: 4-3
OFF: M. Probets
ON: A. Hemblys
OFF: M. Blackburn
ON: A. Addy
The gaffer John Barker was adamant that if the defensive errors decreased, the goals would come and AFC’s quality would be shown, which was extremely true to form. It did not take long for the two substitutes to make their mark on the game, with a great cross whipped across from the right-hand side by Addy, finding Hemblys at the far post who nodded it in far from the keeper. With the game now level, Manchester stepped up the game and managed to get forward with some good passing play sometimes cutting through the AFC defenders. Harry managed to get down and make some good saves, once diving to his left stopping a shot from outside the box, then also cutting out the through balls from the midfield to the strikers.
With Harry in safe possession of the ball, it was rolled to Marcus in plenty of space who then decided to make the game a bit more interesting by passing it to the United striker through for a one on one, slotting it home to regain the lead. After this setback, AFC ‘Reset‘ in a calm and collective way and regained dominance and possession. United occasionally got forward, but their shots were stopped by Harry who managed to hold on to the ball, then shifting it up top to the attacking players.
It was then Ben Fawkes’ turn to set up Hemblys, who leapt like a salmon and managed to guide the ball in to the corner of the goal from distance bringing the game to a tie. Goals galore at 5-5, but with ten minutes left, neither side gave up hope. A 40-yard set piece allowed the United striker to have a shot and channel his inner Lukaku, but like Lukaku, it was poor and went out for a dead ball. Harry’s long boot up the field after a flick onwards ended in the United box, with Martin Probets receiving the ball on the by-line at the outside of the box ultimately being brought down for a free kick. I think the sun reflecting off his head disorientated the defenders, but we will never know. Fawkes stepped up to take the free kick, and a beautifully placed ball found Hemblys at the far post who slotted the ball in the net, completing a trio of headers and marking 100 career goals for AFC Halifax, a wonderful achievement attained in spectacular fashion.
After ‘Robyn‘ the lead off United for the first time, AFC defended strong and saw out the final few minutes. The full-time whistle blew, and Harry was awarded MotM for keeping the Orange’s in the game through the second half.
Man Utd Supporters 5 – 6 AFC Halifax
Andy Littlefair x 2
Andy Hemblys x 3
MotM: Harry Scott-Peters
Read more posts by AFC Halifax