FC Halifax Town fell short of a draw, losing 3-2 to League Two side Port Vale in an entertaining 90 minutes of football at the MBI Shay Stadium.
It was just the start Town where hoping for as the team raced out the blocks threatening what looked to be a nervy Port Vale side. Dayle Southwell nearly scored what would have been goal of preseason as he dispossessed keeper Scot Brown who was way out of his depth, 15 yards out of his penalty box. Southwell’s 40-yard effort lobed the defending Vale players and hit the post only six minutes in.
Niall Maher’s strike in the opening quarter of an hour with another fabulous curling effort into the right-hand corner, sent the Shaymen into the lead, Valiants keeper Scot Brown was left diving aimlessly as the ball nestled into the back of the net putting Town in the lead.
Town fell short in possession through the final ten minutes of the half, The Valiants went in search of an equaliser, applying the pressure on the Town defence.
It finally paid off just before the half on the 40th minute when Vale striker Scott Quigley showed his strength, holding off Trialist no.20 down towards the by-line before cutting the ball back across goal to Tom Pope who was lurking in the middle of the box ready to tap the ball in from 4 yards out.
Going into the half there was optimism from the Town fans, as we continued to compete against the League Two outfit, showing we wasn’t going to just roll over. So, we hoped the second half would start as did the first, but it wasn’t to be.
Neil Aspin’s men came out and within the opening two minutes went ahead with a route one attack with keeper Scot Brown launching the ball forward to Tom Pope, who beat trialist no.4 in the air with a flicked header which fell into the feet of Dave Worrall in behind the Shaymen defence, who smashed the ball home to put Port Vale in the lead.
The opening five minutes to the second half went from bad to worse when Luke Hannant placed a well-timed ball to the overlapping Cristian Montano, who’s first time ball into the box was met by once again Worrall, meeting the ball at the front post, headed into the back of the net leaving Town keeper Sam Johnson with no chance. 3-1 Vale.
The Shaymen just could not get started in the second half and Port Vale capitalised, showing how easy it is in football to turn a game on its head, but Halifax refused to give up as a few fresh faces entered the field, the biggest difference being Mekhi McLeod who troubled Neil Aspin’s side with his tricky feet and pace down the left flank.
The game opened in Halifax’s favour after some close calls from the Valiants with Pope, Quigley and substitute Kanu threatening the Shaymen goal. Town seen to find themselves getting in behind the Vale defence and in search for a goal and it finally came in the closing minutes of the game when some beautiful football from back to front found the feet of Ben Tomlinson whose whipped cross found Trialist 19 who smashed home a late consolation goal for the Shaymen. It was a well worked team goal which came a little too late as moments later the referee blew his whistle for full time.
Two great goals and some beautiful football against a tough Football League opposition was on show at the MBI Shay stadium by FC Halifax Town tonight a performance that saw the crowd rise to their feet to applaud the team as the game concluded and the players headed to the tunnel. The fans witnessed a battling display tonight and something, although a defeat, too look forward to the start of the season on August 4th against Braintree Town away.
Town’s next preseason fixture is against Evo-Stik South side Coalville Town on Saturday Afternoon where we travel to face Scott McManus’ new side at the Owen Street Sports Ground for a 3pm Kick Off.
FC Halifax Town: 1. Sam Johnson, 17. Jacob Hanson, 20. Trialist, 4. Trialist (C), 5 Trialist, 15. Niall Maher, 8. Josh Staunton, 14. Ben Tomlinson, 11. Samni Odelusi, 18 Jordan Preston, 24. Dayle Southwell
Subs: 21. Shaun Rowley, 22. Mekhi McLeod, 25. Matty Kosylo, 12. Ryan Sellars, 16. Cameron King, 19. Trialist, 23. Trialist
Port Vale: 1. Scot Brown, 2. James Gibbons, 3. Cristian Montano, 4. Luke Joyce, 6 Antony Kay, 7. Dave Worrall, 9. Tom Pope (C), 13. Connel Rawlinson, 14. Scott Quigley, 15, Nathan Smith, Rory McKeown
Subs: 12. Sam Hornby, 5. Leon Legg, 11. Luke Hannant, 19. Louis Dodds, 16. Danny Pugh, 17. Idris Kanu, 20. Brendan Daniels
Goals: Maher 6″, Pope 40″, Worrall 47″, Worrall 49″, Trialist 19. 88″.
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
FC Halifax Town 2 -3 Port Vale
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