FC Halifax Town drew 0-0 with Stockport County in the return festive fixture at The Shay on New Year’s Day.
Manager Pete Wild named the same starting XI from the 1-0 Vanarama National League win over Chesterfield at the weekend, and saw Town’s second clean sheet in two games.
The visitors were high in confidence following their Boxing Day victory over the Shaymen and their win over AFC Fylde at the weekend, however neither side, despite creating chances, could find a goal.
Stockport started brightly, a cross from the right from Adam Thomas saw a shot from Tom Walker which was turned around the post by Sam Johnson for the first corner of the game which Town defended well.
Cameron King had an effort deflect for a corner however Jack Redshaw’s set piece was headed away by Dan Cowan.
On 10 minutes County’s Tom Walker whipped a corner into the box, which was met by defender Jordan Keane’s head, but he couldn’t direct goalwards and was wide of the target.
Stockport continued to press, developing a few chances of their own. Another corner from Walker was cleared off the line by Charlie Cooper. The ball fell to Nyal Bell but his effort was wide of the target.
The ball was twice then crossed in front of the goal. The first time nobody could direct towards the target; the second ball back in from Osborne flew across goal begging for a touch.
Walker’s free-kick after a Cooper foul then found Bell, who could only head straight at Sam Johnson before Town had a big appeal for a penalty.
Jack Redshaw found Josh Staunton, who backheeled for the striker to run onto. The Town frontman went down in the box, but referee Peter Gibbons waved away his frantic appeals.
By now Town were coming into the game and a good lay-off by Redshaw found Niall Maher, but he skied an effort over the bar with ten minutes of the half remaining.
The visitors, however, continued to look dangerous from set pieces. A free-kick was sent into the box, but the headed clearance fell to Adam Thomas, who shot just wide of the target.
Town finished the half strongly, though, as Redshaw found himself on the edge of the box. His shot hit a defender and Staunton side-footed an effort from the edge of the box that looped onto the roof of the net.
This before another appeal for a penalty. After a good run by Cameron King, he looked to find Redshaw. The ball bounced off a Stockport defender’s hand but again Gibbons said no to a Halifax penalty.
The second half started and Town began brightly. In the 48th minute, a Town corner into the box from Redshaw was met by a Matty Brown header which was goal-bound, got blocked, fell to Jamie Allen who back-heeled, but the visitors managed to scramble clear.
Johnson had to be alert to prevent Jordan Keane opening the scoring, as a Dan Cowan cross was headed away to the County player and his shot was turned over the bar by Johnson.
On the hour mark, Brown chested the ball but only into the path of Osborne. He took the shot on quickly and fired over the bar when it was two-on-two for Stockport, much to the relief of the Town skipper.
Town were hoping to make one of their chances pay and had another one go close as Jeff King cut in from the right, but his low shot only went into the side netting before Cameron King’s 30-yard effort was saved by the Stockport keeper Ben Hinchliffe.
Some real pressure was being put on the Stockport goal at the South Stand end and substitute Liam McAlinden found Redshaw on the edge of the box. He took a little touch and forced another save from Hinchliffe
With nine minutes remaining, Staunton’s ball into the feet of Redshaw, was good enough for the strike to get a shot away, but his effort from distance went over the bar.
Former Town striker Devante Rodney – on loan at Stockport – came on as a sub, ran at Williams, fired his shot at Johnson which was held at the second attempt.
With just three minutes remaining, the Shaymen looked like they may have won the game.
Town came down the right-hand side, and the ball was crossed in by Staunton, behind Redshaw.
Redshaw managed to bring the ball back in and a McAlinden cross found Staunton who hit the post with a header at the far stick.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Matty Brown ©, 7 Jamie Allen (15 Liam McAlinden 70), 10 Cameron King (40 Shawn McCoulsky 89)14
Josh Staunton, 20 Jeff King, 21 Danny Williams, 22 Charlie Cooper, 23 Jack Redshaw, 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 12 Will Appleyard, 11 Tobi Sho-Silva, , 17 Josh MacDonald,
Stockport County: 1 Ben Hinchliffe, 3 Dan Cowan, 4 Paul Turnbull © 5 Ash Palmer, 6 Jordan Keane, 7 Adam Thomas (9 Frank Mulhern 84), 10 Elliot Osborne, 11 Joe Leesley, 16 Nyal Bell, 18 Festus Arthur, 26 Tom Walker (27 Devante Rodney 68)
Subs: 2 Sam Miniham, 8 Sam Walker, 13 Ian Ormson,
Yellow Cards: J King 74, Leesley 83
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 3460 (1485)
FC Halifax Town 0 Stockport County 0
Town are next in action on January 4 (15.00 kick-off) when they travel to the capital to face Barnet at The Hive.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist