A goal from Matty Brown wasn’t enough for Halifax, as The Shaymen slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Oldham Athletic.
Oldham struck twice in the opening half hour, goals from Rhys Turner and Brian Wilson putting them into a commanding position early on. Town captain Matty Brown struck two minutes into the second, but Neil Aspin’s side were unable to find an equaliser at The Shay.
Making their first pre-season appearance at The Shay, the new look Shaymen side took time to find their rhythm early on, whilst an Oldham eleven also struggled to put any meaningful spells of possession together in a scrappy opening. It was Oldham who had the first effort at goal almost 10 minutes in, but Jonathan Forte nodded over Mike Jones’ centre.
After a promising Town spell, Oldham struck first blood through Rhys Turner’s flicked finish. Forte found himself with plenty of space on the right hand side, and picked out an unmarked Turner who gently passed the ball out of Glennon’s reach. Town reacted quickly, Elliot Whitehouse in particular who won the sides first corner after a jinked run down the right hand side. From the resulting corner Hamza Bencherif could only bundle wide.
But Oldham continued the momentum that the goal brought and doubled their advantage on 26 minutes. A corner found an unmarked Brian Wilson 20 yards out, and he took time before curling a shot past an unsighted Glennon. The visitors went close again soon after, as Joe Mills’ foray up the left wing saw him given space. But luckily for The Shaymen defence, his left footed thunderbolt cannoned back off the crossbar as Oldham had the better of the first half.
Jordan Burrow, one of the bright sparks in the opening 45 for Town, had the sides first real effort minutes before half-time, nodding over James Bolton’s cross. Kerr had the last chance of the half for Oldham, but nodded a corner over to spark the referee’s half-time whistle.
After a couple of half-time switches, Halifax pulled one back from a corner. After James Bolton’s shot had been blocked, Whitehouse’s corner was met by Matty Brown who bundled a low effort into the back of the net, sparking a Town resurgence.
Despite that goal, Oldham didn’t retreat to a more defensive style, going close through Turner, the scorer of the first goal. His effort from a tight angle was well cleared by Town skipper Brown. Half-time substitute Hiwat also had an effort on goal for Oldham, but the opening stages of the second half were far more positive than the first 45 minutes for the hosts.
Oldham’s attacking continued, going close through Hiwat again, his low effort having the Town backline scrambling. The introduction of Danny Hattersley gave Town a new form of attack, with the towering forward seeing plenty of the ball after replacing Burrow. He almost provided Tuton with an equaliser, but his nod down was just picked out by Joel Coleman in the Oldham goal.
Town wanted a penalty on 78 minutes, only for the referee to deem a foul outside the box. Josh MacDonald, lively since coming off the bench, found himself in space through the centre of the pitch, only to be felled on the edge of the box. Brown’s free-kick was well charged down in what was turning into a thrilling second-half.
Despite a late effort from the Town forwards, for whom Tuton and Hattersley were regularly linking up well, Oldham were able to see out the game as Town’s first home game of the pre-season campaign ended with a hard fought defeat.
Oldham took the lead 14 minutes in, Rhys Turner’s neat flick from six yards out beating Matt Glennon. That lead was doubled soon after, thanks to a curled effort following a corner routine, Brian Wilson slotting through a number of bodies.
Joseph Mills then struck a crossbar for an impressive Oldham side, but Halifax found a way back after the break. Captain Matty Brown struck within two minutes of the restart, sparking a far better Town showing in the second 45.
Tuton and Hattersley both went close for Town as they searched for an equaliser, whilst at the other end Hiwat and Jones both had chances to increase Oldham’s lead, but they were able to see out a 2-1 victory at The Shay.
FCHT: Glennon, Bolton, McManus (Heslop 46), Hutchison, Brown, Hughes (MacDonald 46), Burrow (Hattersley 65), Whitehouse (Hibbs 82), Bencherif, James, Bishop (Tuton 46).
Unused Subs: Porter, Hibbs, Walker, Hillhouse,
Goals: Brown (47)
Oldham Athletic: Coleman, Mills (Mmaee), Kerr, Thompson, Wilson, Kelly, Winchester (Keogh), Jones (Philliskirk), Forte (Hiwat), Turner (Brown), Green (Murphy).
Unused Subs: Cornell
Goals: Turner (14), Wilson (26)
Referee: Seb Stockbridge
Assistants: Andrew Miller, Geoff Liddle
Attendance: 867 (303 Oldham)
Official website Man of the Match: Kingsley James
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