A last minute winner from Jake Thompson clinched all the points against Preston North End U19s in a competitive 2-1 affair.
The Shaymen youngsters had a comfortable first half, with plenty of good opportunities to be ahead by some distance. However it looked like it wasn’t to be their afternoon with the woodwork playing a huge factor in the game – as Town were denied by the woodwork twice in the first half and once in the second.
Town almost took the lead inside the opening 3 minutes. Ousman Cham delivered a corner from the left to lick out Reece Kendall, who timed his late run into the box to perfection but his effort clipped the crossbar, unable to add to his 2 goals he scored against Staveley Miners Welfare last time out.
Town struck the bar again 10 minutes later. Shiraz Khan crossed to skipper Ross Barrows and his header looked destined for the goal but the Preston keeper Luke Raybould pulled off a stunning reflex save to tip it onto the bar and behind.
Preston’s first opportunity came just past the 20 minute mark. Both keepers were called into action as Sam Parker broke into Town’s box and Town keeper Kyle Trenerry was forced into making a good save low to his right. Preston’s Raybound pulled off a great save moments later, tipping Jake Thompson’s effort around the post.
FC Halifax Town finally opened the account on 24 minutes through Marko Basic. The striker linked up well with right back Jack Johnson to open space for the former to arrive into the area and calmly slot home to make his second in as many games.
The Shaymen had a number of chances to put the game beyond the reach of Preston as half-time approached. A header from Barrows narrowly skimmed wide of the post and Thompson had the Preston keeper routed to the spot as his long-range effort went the wrong side of the keepers post.
Khan was convinced that a penalty should have been awarded in favour of the home side on the stroke of half-time, after Sam Wright looked to have brought the right winger down after he played the ball back across goal.
The second half was a much different affair with Preston‘s youngsters coming out and fighting. Their hard pressing was rewarded less than 10 minutes after the restart. Striker Hann Tam showed a great turn of pace to evade the covering defender, carried the ball into the area and fired home the equaliser.
After this there was a limited number of what you could consider to be clear cut chances, the best chance for the home side falling to Tam on the 77th minute, who fired a volley towards goal as a corner was headed out, only for Thompson to clear near the goalmouth, however the shot appeared to be veering wide.
Shaymen’s Jake Knight, on as a sub, was inches away with connecting with Khan’s delivery from the left before Town were denied once again by the post , this time right back Jack Johnson found himself in space from the corner but his left footed effort clattered the near post.
It seemed like it wasn’t going to the teams day but on the stroke of the full-time Jake Johnson bundled the ball home to clinch the victory. The corner was sent dangerously across goal and Johnson was the first to reach the ball in a sea of bodies to tap home the winner.
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