AFC Halifax travelled over the hill to miserable Rochdale where for the second week in a row they faced a team in ‘Blue’.
Hoping of a repeat performance AFC were forced into several changes. Missing were the ‘Precious’ Probets sisters and ‘Prima Donna’ Luders. In came veteran striker Hembers and James, who may now hold the record for the tallest player ever to play for the Supporters team. PJ made a rare appearance in goal, a back three of James, Casalino and Bobbins with a midfield 5 of Fawkes, Addy, Littlefair, Stapley and Hollands. Front two of Attiwell and Hembers.
The first half was all Rochdale and AFC found themselves ‘Chasing the Shadows’. ‘Dale were first to everything wanted the ball more and were basically the better team. Their first goal from a corner where the striker beat Fawkes in the air to put a bullet header into the roof of the net. Minutes later Hollands was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area and a penalty was given, the penalty was duly despatched.
AFC battled to keep the score down, but just before half time a third goal came; a long ball and a break from the striker saw him unleash unstoppable effort to the top corner.
At half time AFC were three down, and deservedly so.
At half time Gaffer Baker gave a stirring talk, asking for his team to become a ‘Brotherhood of Man’ and work as hard as they did against City the week prior, reminding them of the ‘Sweet Dreams’ they had.
He was not to be disappointed as AFC started the second half like a different team, they matched ‘Dale in every department.
It was AFC that troubled the scorer next when a sublime team move of 59 passes (at the last count) saw centre half James cross only to find the ‘Black Lace’ of wing back Stapleys boot. They were back in the game! More pressure from AFC led to a penalty appeal when Littlefair was pushed over in the area but the ref decided that ‘LuLu’ Casalino would have been proud and play on was waved. Barker was furious on the touchline as and was told he was no longer allowed to run line.
Despite other chances falling to Hembers, Attiwell and Addy AFC couldn’t find the back of the net. In fact it was ‘Dale that increased their lead. With ten minutes remaining one set of old legs were replaced by an even older pair, as Barker came on for Hollands. Barker’s day went from bad to worse as two more goals went in during his short stint on the pitch.
Full time and 6-1 to ‘Dale but Halifax came off feeling that score flattered the home team after their second half performance.
Barker apologised to the referee after the game for his behaviour over the penalty, however the ref made himself look like ‘Co-Co’ the clown as he admitted it was a penalty.
The ‘Bucks Fizz’ will remain on ice, maybe till next week when AFC are again on their travels this time to the ‘Sandie Shaw’s of West Brom.
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