Stockport scored an injury time stunner to deny Halifax all three points and earn themselves a share of the spoils in this youth league encounter.
Both sides had lead during the match before Leon Murphy rescued a point for the away side, the Shaymen scored their goals through Callum Bannister and Will Chappell following Ben Spibey’s opener for county
The match was played in fine conditions which allowed for quick, attacking football in the opening exchanges.
It took just 5 minutes for the first big chance to arrive when Halifax’s Will Chappell was bought down by the opposition goalie after rounding him; earning his side an early penalty.
Sam Hillhouse had the honours but saw his tame effort saved as Stockport ‘keeper Adam Rigby made amends for giving the spot kick away
Halifax upped their pursuit for the opening goal after the failed penalty and went close through the ever-dangerous Chappell and Hillhouse in the opening quarter of an hour.
But Stockport always looked dangerous on the counter attack and constantly made their physical presence felt and it was to be telling after 35 minutes when they took the lead from a corner.
Murphy swung it in from the left and big striker Ben Spibey rose unmarked to nod home and give Stockport a 1-0 lead with just 10 minutes to go until halftime.
As far as shortlived leads go however, this one would take some beating.
From the kickoff Halifax worked the ball up the left wing and into their opposition’s box, a mix up in the Stockport defence allowed Callum Bannister to scramble home the equaliser less than a minute after his side had fallen behind.
In a flash the scores had gone from 0-0 to 1-1 and that was how it stayed going into halftime despite each side having a chance to take the lead right on the interval.
First Spibey and then Bannister squandered golden chances to add theirs and their side’s second with the respective goals at their mercy but 1-1 was how it stayed as the referee signalled an end to the first period.
Halifax bought on Mirac Demirbag and he looked a threat throughout the second half.
Whilst chances were few and far between it wasn’t down to lack of endeavour by either side, but more resolute defending and failure to find that killer final ball.
The first big chance came just after the hour mark and was taken with aplomb by Chappell, he took the ball on the edge of the Stockport box before turning and firing into the bottom corner in one swift movement to give the home side the lead for the first time.
The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of Stockport somewhat as their play went a little flat whilst Halifax went in pursuit of doubling their lead.
Chances came and went but none were taken and Halifax went into the 3 additional minutes sitting on a single goal lead following a string of strong saves from their keeper Ellis Halpine.
With almost the last action of the match Stockport won a throw in deep into the Halifax half and opted to load the box and throw it long.
The initial throw wasn’t properly cleared and Stockport captain Leon Murphy was the first to react producing a stunning overhead kick which looped over Halpine and into the net sending the away side into raptures and leaving the young Shaymen with their heads in their hands.
The referee’s whistle blew for full time soon after with the final score at two goals apiece.
Both sides could leave the field with their heads held high though you feel Halifax will be left wondering how they switched off to allow an equaliser so late on, though they could hardly argue with the standard of the goal.
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