FC Halifax Town were forced to settle for a point as the Vanarama National League returned, following their 0-0 draw with Woking FC on a cold Remembrance Day at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Chances for Joe Ward and Tom Denton at either end did not seem to want to find a way in, as both sides played out a frustrating game with little created in the way of clear cut opportunities.
The first half was slow starting to say the least, the best of the early chances falling to Denton after he found his way in behind the Woking back-line. A through ball somehow managed to find his feet, although the big man had too little time to get a threatening shot away.
For the visitors, it was the same issue. Town’s back four managed to hold out well throughout the opening 45 minutes, restricting the Cardinals to only one half chance. Kane Ferdinand did well to work in behind Scott Garner, although is attempted cross over Sam Johnson failed to find a yellow shirt in the centre.
The away side did show some threat through the likes of Regan Charles-Cook. He saw his penalty shout turned down instantly by referee Peter Gibbons, deeming it a dive as Charles-Cook rose to his feet.
As the half went on it looked like the Shaymen were the stronger of the two sides, with Billy Heath’s men growing into the game. The confidence of debutant Josh Clackstone showed as he kept Woking from forming a meaningful attack, which Harry Middleton also demonstrated.
It was his low corner, deputising for Connor Oliver who was dropped to the bench, which found Daniel Batty unmarked in the box, although the shot from the Hull City loanee was never going to trouble travelling ‘keeper Nathan Baxter as it flew over the bar.
This seemed to spur Town on towards the end of the first half. With Josh MacDonald doing well down the right hand side, his cross found its way to Denton rising above the rest, although the header was way off the mark.
Into the second half and Town fans were hoping to continue this growing energy, although both sides once again struggled to form many chances.
It took until just before the hour mark for the Shaymen to form a decent opportunity after half time, as Middleton played a fantastic ball through for MacDonald to chase. The winger, in search of his first competitive goal, unleashed a stinging shot, but only into the arms of Baxter.
The game went quiet one again until Denton was presented with what was possibly Town’s best chance of the game. A perfectly weighted through ball fell nicely at his feet, but the shot was anything but, trickling well wide of the far post.
Woking’s top scorer Ward, who has six for the season so far, was forced to wait until deep into the second half for his appearance, although it was not long before he showed his quality.
After working into space on the edge of the box, he unleashed what was Woking’s best chance, forcing Johnson to dive low to his left and save well. Hearts were in mouths as the parry bobbled just wide of the post, Johnson doing just enough to keep the scores level.
As time wore on, Town found themselves having what seemed to be a decent shout for a penalty, as Woking captain Richard Orlu looked to raise a hand following Denton’s header on goal. In the end though, Gibson was firm with his decision to wave away the claims, leaving the home crowd disgruntled to say the least.
One last chance for Denton in the dying moments saw his header flash wide of Baxter’s near post. Both sides were left to share the spoils on Remembrance Weekend, although this game may not be remembered for too long.
Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Josh Wilde (38 George Waring 87′), 5 Matt Brown Â©, 6 Scott Garner, 8 Nathan Hotte, 9 Tom Denton, 11 Scott McManus, 15 Josh MacDonald, 35 Harry Middleton, 36 Josh Clackstone, 37 Daniel Batty (14 Ben Tomlinson 61′)Subs: 13 Tom Nicholson, 14 Ben Tomlinson, 10 Connor Oliver, 18 Danny Clarke, 38 George Waring
Woking: 1 Nathan Baxter, 21 Matt Young, 6 Richard Orlu Â©, 15 Jordan Wynter, 3 Nathan Ralph, 4 Joey Jones, 22 Kane Ferdinand, 17 Declan Appau (8 Chez Isaac 56′), 11 Regan Charles-Cook, 9 Inih Effiong, 20 Jamie Philpot (23 Joe Ward 67′)Subs: 8 Chez Isaac, 14 Fabio Saraiva, 23 Joe Ward, 24 Lazar Stojsavljevic, 18 Sam Mason
Yellow Cards: 3 Nathan Ralph (Woking) 20′ Josh Wilde 88
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1710 (61 away)
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