It was a case of ‘Hey Boy, Hey Girl’ for AFC Halifax as they welcomed two new baby Shaymen this week, thanks to centre half Adam Probets and ‘keeper Dave Sutton, who along with their partners welcomed a baby boy, and a baby girl into the world! Both in the starting line up with two new borns at home, looking forward to a game of football. Salford were the opponents, who had the better of AFC in the last meeting, winning 5-3. Also, in the squad was Nick Caufield, who despite his last appearance being 8 years ago, now said he was ‘Back for Good’!
Halifax started slowly however, with both teams working each other out, Salford got the first chance and it would have been 1-0, had it not been for an excellent off the line clearance by the gaffer John Barker who showed his wealth of experience and got back in time to clear with his head. They couldn’t hold off Salford for too much longer though, as Salford got the first goal of the game. The right back had all the time in the world to whip a ball in, and the big Salford striker managed to get free in the box and head home.
The lead didn’t last long however, as new dad Adam Probets came out of defence with the ball, played a nice ball into the feet of Adam Ramsden, a lovely outside the foot pass around their corner set Martin Probets through on goal, who finished past the Salford goalkeeper with real conviction. 1-1.
AFC Halifax should have really been able to ‘Step On’ but they didn’t get the chance as Salford got back into the lead with some sloppy marking from a corner and a free header at the back post. 2-1 down, quick became 3-1 down as Salford looked to ‘Sail Away’ with 3 points. A defence splitting ball in the middle sliced open the Halifax defence, new dad Sutton wasn’t sure if to come or stay and left himself in no man’s land and the Salford striker easily slotted past him.
Halifax needed to respond quickly, ‘there goes the fear’ as AFC threw caution to the wind. Emphasised by Nathan Wright, pulling a little Cruyff turn on the touch line, sending 2 Salford players back into the changing rooms. It’s unbeknown if the two Salford lads were mesmerised by the skill or by his off-orange coloured socks, but in any case, he found a ball inside to Ramsden, who was about 25 yards out, he unleashed a shot, caught it very well but it went straight down the middle, however Ramsden must have been a ‘Lucky Man’ as the keeper fumbled it into the goal.
Then, just before half time, Halifax won a penalty. Andy Littlefair who’d been causing bother whenever he could get on the ball, was clipped going into the area, the referee called it and said it was just inside, tough call and it really could have gone either way. Ben Fawkes stepped up to take the penalty, having scored 3 pens in the last 2 games feeling confident. The Salford keeper screaming at him saying he knew which way he would put it, did little to put off Fawkes who may as well have said ‘ohhh sit down’, as the keeper dived out of the way as Mr. Fox smashed it straight down the middle. I guess he didn’t know after all.
Half time 3-3!
A change of formation by Barker at half time, as the midfield 3 of Fawkes, Wright and John Luders (the latter had almost run his normal coloured socks off) couldn’t carry on like that for another 45 minutes. 4-4-2 it would be, as Nick Caufield came in at centre half and a return for managers favourite Simon Noble, who with a slap on the bum and words in his ear turned around to the gaffer and said ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’.
The half started much like the first with neither team managing to get on top. In fact, the only thing on top was a tackle by the fiery centre midfielder of Salford who dived into a tackle, on top of the ball and into the shin of John Luders. A poor challenge, and the hot head was replaced straight away by the Salford gaffer. Maybe this gave Halifax a burst of life as it was shortly after Halifax managed to get in the lead for the first time. Nathan Wright had worked the line with a couple of throw inns, the final one landing at the feet of Ramsden who held the ball up well, a little pass inside to Martin Probets saw him turn his man and come inside and curled a lovely ball towards the top left hand corner, unluckily for him, the ball slammed down off the bar, but luckily for Halifax straight into the path of Andy Littlefair who had come in from the wing. ‘Some might say’ he needed 4 attempts at actually getting the ball over the line, he said after the game it was only twice….either way, it ended in a goal and Halifax were 4-3 in the lead.
As the game went on, the Halifax defence got deeper and deeper, and defended in more numbers working really hard to come away with the 3 points. Martin Probets however couldn’t last the full 90 as he went down injured with 10 to go, when Salford eventually decided to put the ball out after their 3rd attempt of an attack, John Barker went on to collect his stricken striker and give him a lift off the pitch, and asking for help getting Martin off the pitch was met with the reply from Adam Probets, ‘ you’ll be fine, ‘he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother’! On came Alex Barrett again who helped Halifax see out there 4-3 victory.
A cracking result from AFC, who deserved their win with some fine defending and a tireless never say die attitude.
AFC Halifax 4 – 3 Salford City Supporters
Goals: Martin Probets, Adam Ramsden, Ben Fawkes (pen), Andy Littlefair.
Man of The Match: Adam Ramsden.
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