Danny‘s strike denies Shaymen

Worcester City 1

Halifax Town 1

Town were denied a second successive away win by a Danny Carey-Bertram goal seven minutes from the end at Worcester.

But they will look back at their failure to score more than one goal in a dominant opening quarter and wonder what might have been.

The Shaymen took a ninth-minute lead through Jamie Vardy’s opportunistic strike after James Dean had pressurised a home defender.

And they had the opportunities to add to their tally before, with no little help from the referee, the home side managed to get a foothold in the contest.

Worcester got a lucky break after two minutes when an Eastwood clearance struck Hogan and Luke Corbett’s shot was deflected behind.

But the Town keeper did well from Danny Edwards’s resulting corner which he claimed in a crowded area.

Soon after, Jared Wilson crossed from deep on the right for Corbett but his flicked header went over the bar.

In between, a Lee Ayres foul on Baker gave Danny Lowe the chance to fire in a shot from a free kick.

The wall blocked and when Aaron Hardy crossed it deep from the right Danny Holland volleyed off target.

The Shaymen broke the deadlock after nine minutes when James Dean put defender Wilson under pressure and his square pass was intercepted by Vardy.

His pace took him clear of the Worcester defence and he finished coolly as home keeper James Dorman advanced.

Three minutes later, Dean flicked on for Holland, but the ball took an age to come down and the shot was blocked by a defender.

Anton Foster managed to get the ball through for Holland again within 60 seconds, but the keeper saved bravely at his feet.

Mike Symons and Matt Birley combined to create an opening for Kevin O’Connor whose effort sailed over and Gregg Anderson, starting in place of David Haggerty, blocked brilliantly from a well struck Rob Elvins effort at the midway point of the first half.

And Scott Eastwood was fortunate to get away with a poor clearance kick from the right that landed at Corbett’s feet close to halfway, the Worcester man failing to get enough power in his shot which allowed the Town keeper to gather the ball.

The game deteriorated alarmingly as a spectacle, not helped by some appalling refereeing from Ollie Yates who was keen to blow his whistle - more often than not against the Shaymen - at every possible opportunity.

Corbett should have levelled for the home side, after another shocker from the referee who penalised Lowe after he had twice been fouled.

The ball pinballed in the Town area before Corbett lashed it goalwards from five yards, a combination of Eastwood and the post somehow managing to keep it out.

Town finished the half on the attack with a Lowe free kick finding Vardy free on the left. His first time cross was put behind by Ayres under pressure.

The tone for the second half appeared to be set when Baker tried his luck from distance and the ball drifted out for a throw in.

The referee gave a goal kick.

He managed to spot that Dean had won a corner soon after but Liam Hogan’s side-footed effort was easily blocked by a defender.

Dean had a chance to double Town’s advantage in the 56th minute after Lowe had found Hardy with a magnificent cross field pass.

The right wing back’s cross was the perfect height for the big frontman who somehow headed the ball over the bar.

Ryan Toulson and Hardy combined well on the right to force a Town corner as the midway point of the half approached.

Simon Garner’s delivery from the right was excellent, but somehow eluded Hogan as he rose six yards out.

Worcester enjoyed a good little spell after that, partly aided by the failure of a linesman to spot a clear offside.

But each time they attacked, Town managed to regroup and Eastwood was able to collect the ball.

Lowe stepped in with 17 minutes remaining and raced towards the edge of the area only to be let down by his attempted pass to Vardy.

Worcester threw on extra attacker Marc MacGregor whose first touch was a blocked shot and his second was a pull back for Birley.

He smashed the ball goalwards only to be denied by Hogan’s committed dive.

The equaliser came with seven minutes remaining when the Shaymen failed to deal with an Ayres free kick and the ball fell nicely for Carey-Bertram who hammered his shot into the top corner.

Birley was forced to head Hogan’s long ball forward for a corner with three minutes remaining but Worcester continued to threaten and it took a fine intervention from Scott McManus to deny Carey-Bertram a second chance.

And in injury time Worcester won a corner which Town cleared enabling Vardy to go on a mazy run which, sadly for the Shaymen, ended with a disappointing shot.

There was still time for Elvins to cross from the left for MacGregor at the far post but he headed over the top.