FC Halifax Town secured a place in this year’s Vanrama National League play-offs with a win over Yeovil Town.
Town were looking to bounce back from defeat at the hands of Southend last weekend.
Zak Dearnley’s late strike was enough to secure all three points for Town.
Pete Wild made two changes from the side that lost to Southend as Pierce Bird made his first start for the Shaymen in the play of Niall Maher and Kian Spence replaced an injured Luke Summerfield.
Town had the first chance of the game with a strong serious of possession inside the first ten minutes. Matt Warburton’s powerful strike was saved by Grant Smith in the Yeovil net. The ball fell to the feet of Harvey Gilmour who had his shot cleared off the line.
Jack Senior tried his luck from 20 yards out, but his goal bound volley was saved by Smith.
Billy Waters hit the ball with an outstretched leg, just before the half hour mark, hoping to bag his 21st goal in all competitions but it wasn’t to be as his shot went out for corner. He then looked almost certain to have his goal when Thomas Knowles missed his interception to gift the ball to Senior. His cross finds Waters in the box but he trips up and misses the shot.
Yeovil didn’t have their first chance till the 44th minute when Josh Neufville fired an effort towards Johnson’s net, but his effort hit the bar and was cleared away.
The Shaymen head into the break having been the better side of the half but didn’t quite manage to find the back of the net, making it 6 out of the last 7 home games being nil nil at the break.
The second half started as a similar story as the first, with Town having the first chance of the half. Spence had a shot from the edge of the box, it was deflected out for a corner. The subsequent corner came as another chance for Town that ended as Senior skied a shot over the bar.
The match started to become a fiery affair when the 53rd minute saw two yellow cards for Yeovil. Town had a free-kick on the edge of the box for a foul on Spence, resulting in the first yellow and the free-kick gave Yeovil the second when Rueben Reid was deemed to have crept forward from the wall. The free-kick itself was taken by Warburton and caught comfortably by Smith.
Jordan Slew found Waters who passed to Warburton. He was able to go wide back to Slew, his low ball was sent goalward by Waters, but it was cleared off the line. Yeovil tried to hit Town on the counter, but their run came to an end when Tyrell Warren brought down one of their men. The challenge was late, and Warren received a yellow.
Town made their first change of the match in the 64th minute when Matty Stenson came on in the place of Gilmour.
Yeovil made their first change 10 minutes later when Adi Yussuf replaced Reid. Town also made a change; today’s stand-in captain Kieran Green was taken off to make way for Martin Woods who takes the armband.
Spence finds Waters in the edge of the area for Town as they looked to break the deadlock. The shot hits the side netting and play is stopped for Town’s third and final change. Slew came off to allow Dearnley to enter the field of play.
With just 10 minutes of normal time to play, Yeovil received their third yellow card of the match. Knowles entered the book for a late challenge on Jesse Debrah. Knowles was swiftly taken off the pitch as Ben Barclay came on to replace him.
Town broke the deadlock in the 83rd minute. Second half substitute Dearnley fired the ball into the back of the net from Warren’s ball on the right.
Yeovil quickly responded with their final change as Mark Little was taken off for Sonny Blu-Lo Everton.
The fourth official indicated four minutes of added time. In the dying moments of the game, Spence entered the referee’s book for kicking the ball away.
As the referee blew the whistle for full time, it was jubilation for players and fans alike as Town celebrated their 17th home win of the season and an all-important place in the play-offs.
Next up at The Shay is the final home match of the season against Aldershot Town on May 7th at 3pm.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 5 Jesse Debrah, 8 Kieran Green (26 Martin Woods 75), 10 Matt Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 17 Kian Spence, 20 Harvey Gilmour (14 Matty Stenson 64), 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (27 Zak Dearnley 78), 28 Pierce Bird
Subs: 2 Jay Benn, 19 Jamie Cooke
1 Grant Smith, 2 Mark Little (15 Sonny Blu Lo-Everton 86), 3 Jordan Barnett, 5 Max Hunt, 6 Luke Wilkinson, 8 Dale Gorman, 9 Reuben Reid (23 Adi Yussuf 75), 11 Thomas Knowles (22 Ben Barclay 80), 13 Morgan Williams, 24 Lawson D’Ath, 30 Josh Neufville
Subs: 14 Alexander Bradley, 21 Jack Robinson
Match Referee: Michael Barlow
Goals: Dearnley 83
Yellow Cards: Wilkinson 53, Barnett 54, Debrah 60, Warren 61, Knowles 80, Spence 90
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1947 (106 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Yeovil Town 0
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