Nervous Town edge past Tad

Halifax Town 2

Tadcaster Albion 1

Town edged nervously into the FA Cup third qualifying round with two goals in the last eight minutes turning this tie on its head.

NCE League Premier Division Tadcaster were heading for victory thanks to Carl Stewart’s first half strike.

But substitutes Jason St Juste and James Dean combined for the leveller with time running out to salvage at least a draw.

And centre back Scott McManus headed home a Kevin Holsgrove corner in the fifth added minute to secure victory.

Town had the majority of possession but were hesitant in the final third, players wanting to take one extra touch before getting their shots away.

That caused the fans, many of whom remember disasters against the likes of Marine, Bishop Auckland and Gateshead down the years, to get edgy and it looked like it would cost them dearly as they struggled to break down the visitors.

But manager Neil Aspin has some real firepower at his disposal now and they came up trumps in the end.

Without Tom Baker, who was ill, and Bradford City loan man Terry Dixon, the Shaymen brought back Harry Winter and gave a full debut to Holsgrove.

But it was the visitors who looked sharp early on with Steve Jeff almost catching out the home defence from a free kick, Simon Eastwood diving smartly to his right to save at the near post at the expense of the first of two successive corners.

And Daniel Gray tried his luck from 25 yards six minutes later, sending his effort high over the bar.

Town’s first chance arrived soon after, Lee Gregory crossing well from the right and Holsgrove heading powerfully towards goal, but over.

Winter picked out Ryan Toulson with a great crossfield pass and the fullback whipped in a cross that was flicked over his own bar by Albion centre back Jamie Williamson.

Another Gregory cross from the right was put behind by Ryan Qualter and McManus headed over from the resulting Holsgrove corner.

Gray almost got on the end of a Terry Taylor ball for the visitors after 20 minutes, but was prevented from doing so by Toulson’s sliding challenge. The full back was booked before Jamie Hopcutt saw both his free kick and the rebound strike Town defenders.

Winter’s left wing corner reached Holland at the far post, but he could not direct his close range header on target.

The deadlock was finally broken on the half hour after Tadcaster had won a corner on the left. Jamie Hopcutt swung it in and Stewart’s header went in despite the best efforts of Anton Foster on the post.

Town were almost level a couple of minutes later - and would have been for a stunning double save from Albion keeper Aaron Read.

He somehow managed to keep the ball out when a McManus shot deflected goalwards off Williamson then recovered to deny Holland on the rebound.

Holland attempted to turn provider soon after when he received a crossfield pass from Toulson, but his cross from the left was too high for Gregory.

As half time approached, a Toulson long throw from the left came off two defenders’ heads before going behind for a corner, from which Williamson clearly handled twice in front of the referee, who chose to ignore it.

Tadcaster appeared to be creaking at the back and survived again when Holland played in Gregory. He won a corner which was hit deep and knocked back towards goal by Holland, only for Liam Hogan to head over.

But there was still time for another moment of concern at the back for the Shaymen with Hopcutt crossing low from the right and Toulson hammering the ball away from inside the six yard box.

Scott Hogan replaced Foster at the break and almost made an immediate impact with a cross for Gregory, who volleyed over from 12 yards.

And the substitute ran at the Albion defence again soon after, squaring for Winter who touched it on for Danny Lowe, but his well struck shot flashed across the face of goal and wide.

Winter found Holland, who picked out Holsgrove after 56 minutes but he drilled his shot from the edge of the area straight at the keeper.

The pressure on the Albion goal continued and Gregory should have scored from Winter’s ball into the box, but volleyed over from inside the six yard box.

There was a real left off for the Shaymen midway through the second half when a Terry Taylor cross reached Stewart unmarked on the right of the area, but he blazed over.

Jason St Juste replaced Liam Hogan - a winger for a centre back - and it almost paid dividends as the former Garforth man jinked his way into the box only to be denied as he was about to shoot.

And when Gregory did well to make something of a poor ball to the edge of the area he was only able to curl a shot into Read’s arms.

Tadcaster had nine outfield players behind the ball at all times and Town were struggling to break them down.

But they eventually did eight minutes from time with a fine move started off at right back by Toulson.

He picked out St Juste on the left and, after surging to the edge of the area, he clipped the ball in for Dean who headed home off the underside of the bar.

Dean’s shot on the turn was blocked soon after and Lowe fired a free kick into Tadcaster’s defensive wall as the Shaymen looked for a winner.

And they got one deep into added time when Holsgrove swung in a corner from the right and McManus headed home from close range