Substitute Jack Vale scored his first goal for FC Halifax Town as the Shaymen advanced into the FA Cup 1st round, beating Pontefract Collieries 1-0.
After 155 minutes without a goal in the tie, Town found a way to win at The Shay Stadium through the Blackburn Rovers’ loanee.
The Shaymen started the match on the front foot, with Matty Warburton feeding Elliot Newby down the right flank. Newby’s cross was blocked and eventually cleared by the Pontefract defence.
Moments later Jordan Slew tries his luck from just outside the box, but his strike was well blocked by Collieries’ captain Jack Greenhough.
The visitors’ first chance of the game came about from a Sam Johnson error, in which he dropped a ball that looked set to be sailing out for a goal kick. He was quick to react however and claimed the ball before Pontefract could scramble it home.
Town captain Niall Maher then went close, but his header fell narrowly wide after Martin Woods’ brilliant delivery, but the offside flag had been raised.
Slew then latched onto a ball on the left-hand side before releasing Matty Warburton into the box. The midfielder’s effort was well saved by Musselwhite.
The Pontefract shot stopper had to be alerted to save another Warburton strike, this time getting down well to turn away a near post effort.
The first yellow card of the game was shown to Callum Brook, who in trying to stop Allen bursting through on goal, pulled him back. The resultant free kick was sent powerfully towards goal by Warburton, but the wall did its job and deflected the ball out for a corner.
A rare Pontefract chance came just before the thirty-minute mark, as Ben Gordon advanced forward before trying his luck from just outside the box. Kieran Green blocked the shot, but it deflected up into the air and was met acrobatically by Luke Hinsley, who guided his overhead kick well wide of Johnson’s goal.
Town continued to push forward, with Musselwhite equal to a headed effort from Matty Warburton, before saving excellently just before halftime as Tyrell Warren burst through on goal.
Just after halftime, Jack Greenhough received a yellow card for a strong challenge on Kian Spence.
Jordan Slew had an effort from the edge of the Pontefract box, but his seemingly goal bound shot just bounced wide of Musselwhite’s goal. The Collieries broke from the resulting goal kick, and Tyrell Warren conceded a foul on the edge of the area. The resulting set piece was headed clear by Niall Maher.
Pete Wild turned to his substitute bench just before the hour mark, as Billy Waters and Jack Vale replaced Elliot Newby and Kian Spence.
And it didn’t take the Gaffer’s decision long to reap rewards, as Jamie Allen squared the ball for Jack Vale to score his first Shaymen goal. Musselwhite was finally beaten after over 150 minutes.
Tyrell Warren advanced forward again and from a through ball by Jamie Allen, could only fire straight at Musselwhite as Town looked to wrap up proceedings.
Jamie Allen was next to pick up a booking for the Shaymen, before Jack Senior also saw yellow for clipping Vaughan Redford.
Pontefract kept pushing for an equaliser, but Spencer Clarke could only scuff the ball out for a goal kick after a great set piece delivery.
After defending well against the Collieries’ pressure, captain Niall Maher led a charge forward, his pass for Matty Warburton was just poked behind for a corner as the midfielder looked set to be through on goal.
At the heart of the defence, Kieran Green played brilliantly in a makeshift position, defending well against the long-ball onslaught.
In added time, the Shaymen had a chance to finish the game off, but Billy Gilmour’s attempt at rounding the keeper saw his chance for his first Halifax goal disappear. He exchanged passes well with Jamie Allen before just overrunning the ball.
Another opportunity arose for Town, but Billy Waters could only stumble over the ball as he looked to play Warburton clean through on Musselwhite’s goal.
But the Shaymen were able to hold on to their narrow advantage, as they advance through to the 1st round of the Emirates FA Cup.
Tyrell Warren was a constant threat down the right flank, and Matty Warburton controlled the game in midfield and was unlucky not to get himself on the scoresheet.
Pontefract gave a fantastic account of themselves, defending well and battling toe-to-toe with Town. Pete Wild will feel like that victory was deserved, as his team dominated proceedings at The Shay Stadium.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Matty Warburton, 17 Kian Spence (11 Billy Waters 58), 21 Tyrell Warren, 24 Elliot Newby (22 Jack Vale 58), 25 Jordan Slew (20 Harvey Gilmour 75), 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 12 Tom Scott (GK), 15 Gerry McDonagh, 18 Javid Swaby-Neavin.
Pontefract Collieries: 1 Ryan Musselwhite, 2 Jack Greenhough ©, 3 Ben Gordon, 4 Jack Vann, 5 Spencer Clarke, 6 Callum Brook, 7 Gavin Rothery, 8 Derry Robson (14 Jack Lazenby 68), 9 Luke Hinsley (12 Eli Hey 60), 10 Vaughan Redford, 11 Scott Smith (16 Fabian Bailey 81).
Subs: 15 Jimmy Williams, 17 Scott Brown, 18 Dylan Collington, 19 Charlie Clegg.
Referee: Daniel Middleton
Goals: Vale 65
Yellow Cards: Brook 27, Smith 31, Greenhough 48, Redford 66, Allen 75, Senior 78, Warren 85, Lazenby 90+1
Attendance: 1713 (526 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Pontefract Collieries 0
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