With the sun shining bright but still with a wintry chill in the air, unlike Newcastle where there is generally “Fog On The Tyne” AFC Halifax Town, “Back Home” from their previous week’s adventures on Hackney Marshes welcomed newcomers Nuneaton Borough supporters to Lightcliffe Academy for what turned out to be a game full of goals.
Manager John Barker, making his 250th appearance, was given the captain’s armband by Stewart “Bobbins” Heaton and was keen to follow on from AFC’s success in the big smoke against Leyton Orient but came up against a team eager to impress the IFL.
The opening exchanges were sloppy with both teams failing to get the ball under control and it was Nuneaton who looked the more likely to score but with an AFC back four oozing experience they found it tough going. With Barker constantly shouting “Move Move Move” AFC began to take ascendency and it was no surprise when they took the lead when after winning a corner Ginger Prince, Ben Fawkes, floated in the ball only to see it sliced into his own net by a Nuneaton defender but the lead was only to last 5 minutes as Borough hit back with a gift wrapped equaliser.
John Barker with plenty of time to assess the situation tried to “Do the Right Thing” but under cooked his back pass to the “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” goalkeeper Dave Double Barrelled Surname and left the Nuneaton striker with a clear run on goal which he duly finished.
Thankfully this week AFC were without perennial moaner Marcus Stapley so Barker’s mistake meant he could erase this misdemeanour rather quicker than usual and this he did as AFC retook the lead 10 minutes later when the newly hirsute Martin Probets scored with a customary fine finish. With the game still not the prettiest of encounters it was no surprise when Nuneaton equalised again, this time from a corner after the AFC back four failed to clear the ball after several opportunities to do so. With 2 minutes to go before half-time AFC once again took the lead when good work from the “Outstanding” and evergreen Adie Hollands, released man of the match John Luders down the right hand side and his pinpoint cross was volleyed home by newcomer meal deal Beale to send his team in 3-2 at the break.
Nothing much needed saying at half time as the whole team knew that despite being in the lead their performance was well below par and if they wanted to hit the heights and see the “Diamond Lights” of previous weeks then they needed to book up their ideas and the players re-entered the field saying “This Time (We’ll Get It Right)”
The second half began pretty much like the first half had begun with wayward passes and this was highlighted when an innocuous free kick was given away by Nuneaton just inside the AFC half. John Luders walked up to the ball and played what would usually be a simple 10-yard pass to Barker but for some reason the ball ended up with a Nuneaton attacker and once again the clear route to goal resulted in their 3rd equaliser of the game.
AFC keeper Dave Double Barrelled Surname usually claims that “We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands” and he may indeed be correct in that assumption but one thing he certainly didn’t have in his hands was the ball as Nuneaton for the first time in the game took the lead when an under hit shot squirmed under his body and at his near post too.
This mistake however seemed to spur the AFC lads on and they finally began to play the football they’ve been playing all season and Nuneaton didn’t get another sniff in front of goal with housewives favourite Tom Ashton adding pace down the flanks after coming on as a halftime substitute and grandma’s favourite Adam Probets tightening it up at the back. Young Gooner Callum Hannan wowed everyone with a sublime piece of skill when he pirouetted on the ball and it was no surprise when Martin Probets equalised to make it 4-4 following good work with every gender’s favourite Harry Scott-Peters. Luders could have made it 5-4 at the death but hit the post from 5 yards when it seemed easier to score which is what “Geordie Boy” Adam Ramsden may have done if he hadn’t been on enjoying the delights of Edinburgh.
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