Leeds University 0
Halifax got back to winning ways in Yorkshire Two with a good team performance against Leeds on Saturday.
Withour star striker Matthew Graham (ankle), Johnny Sutcliffe(knee) and influential defender Michael Jones(broken toe), the team welcomed back Leigh Walker and Richard Marshall to shore up the defence.
Paul Graham was pushed into a holding role in front of the defence with Dave Wheatley given a marking job at the heart of the back four.
This seemed to work as Leeds were restricted to one shot on target in the first half and not many more in the second.
Halifax missed several good chances in the first period with Jake Bamforth, Matthew Bairstow and Tom Love either foiled by an inspired Leeds keeper or shooting off target.
A 0-0 scoreline at half time was not a fair reflection of the play and the message was be patient and show some composure in front of goal.
Good movement from Bamforth and Kristian Mayland at the beginning of the second half allowed the improving midfield of Love, Josh Sutcliffe and Sam Spencer to create telling passes.
Chances still came and went but Bamforth broke the deadlock midway through the half when he showed good composure to draw the ball away from the keeper before flicking into the roof of the net.
Shortly after veteran Graham showed the youngsters how to score, firing in a solid shot from the top of the D after picking up a loose pass from a Leeds defender.
Mayland went close before Bamforth scored his second and the team’s third with a deft deflection which wrong footed the Leeds keeper.
Excellent defensive play by Josh Foreman and Leigh Walker made sure Leeds could not mount a fightback and the team were happy with a 3-0 win with Matthew Metcalfe very content with a first clean sheet of the season in goal.
Halifax maintained possession better and will hope for more of the same in tomorrow’s top of the table clash at Park Lane against York, who have only lost one game this season.
Halifax II 1
Leeds Adel Carnegie III 0
Halifax’s unbeaten run was extended to four matches in a tense and finely balanced battle.
The game hinged on two potential penalty decisions, one denied, the other awarded. Fate favoured Halifax on this occasion with top scorer John Horsley confidently flicking the ball into the backboards midway through the first half.
Halifax were without skipper Dave Manning, David Willis, David Spencer and Graham Rodgers but James Smith gave an immaculate performance in goal, striker Cameron Hellowell ran tirelessly and Simon Arch and the returning Luke Greenwood also shone.
Halifax shaded the first half having started far better than in previous weeks, but by the end the whole side was hanging on. Hearts were in mouths as the umpires conferred over a foot infringement close to the goal line but the home side breathed a huge sigh of relief when a short corner was given as opposed to a penalty flick.
If the second string can maintain their run in York tomorrow they will be among the promotion contenders.
Driffield II 1
Halifax III 1
Halifax secured a draw away to fellow strugglers Driffield but did enough to feel it was two points dropped.
With several players unavailable, youngsters Connor Sutcliffe and Aaron Charlton and experienced pair Neil Penny-Ward and Roy Atkinson were drafted in and all did well.
Halifax started brightly with Steve Rooke linking up well with Matthew Ward down the right, Lee Chapman making inroads down the left and Atkinsonholding up the ball well.
However, they went unrewarded and the balance began to shift in favour of the home team. Nick Walton and Simon Meredith handled the Driffield attack well but could do little when Driffield’s most effective player showed good skills and his deflected shot left goalkeeper Fred Owens stranded.
Halifax forced a number of penalty corners but the equaliser came from open play, Ward and Rooke creating the chance for Atkinson to finish with a well-struck shot from the edge of the area.
Atkinson went close again and Halifax continued to dominate possession after the break.
However, without any substitutes, fatigue set in and chances came and went for both sides.
Halifax host bottom of the table York University tomorrow.
Halifax Ladies: S.Crawshaw, J.Greenwood, E.Fradgley, J.Love, L.O’Neill, E.Bedford, Z.Hartley, S.Jones, K.Walsh, E.Crawford, M.Holroyde. Meet Park Lane 10.15.
Halifax Ladies II: A.Staples, A.McManus, J.Speight, S.kelly, T.Helliwell, R.Bury, L.O’Neill, M.Bottomley, R.Prosser, E.Campsall, M.Holroyde, D.Parker, C.Waldron. Meet LA Carnegie 3.45.
Halifax Ladies III: C.Donson, L.Niamantas, S.Hoyle, A.Hendy, M.Midgley, M.J.Hamilton, N.Boulton, R.Hoyle, H.Wilcock, C.Jackson, E.Clarkson, C.Moss, H.Wood, C.Newby. Umpire: N.Bowers. Meet Park Lane 2.15.
Halifax Ladies IV: S.Pennyward, R.Rosier, C.Robertshaw, L.Marshall, A.pennyward, L.Hirst, A.Wright, L.Clarkson, H.Chadwick, C.Robertshaw, R.Kendall, S.Gledhill, G.Crabtree. Umpire: N.Boulton. Meet Park Lane 12.30.