Town within touching distance of play-offs

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Halifax Town 2 Droylsden 1

Town came from behind against Droylsden, avenging defeat to the same side in Manchester earlier this season and moving to within a point of securing their place in the Blue Square Bet North play-offs.

Lee Gregory’s second half strike settled the game after Sean Clancy had levelled late in the first half.

But this was a far more convincing win than the scoreline suggests as the Shaymen hit the woodwork three times and missed a penalty, Tom Baker firing wide late on.

Town made just one change to the side that drew at Altrincham with Matt Crooks returning in place of Simon Garner.

And they had an early chance to deliver from a free kick on the right but Baker’s ball in was deflected into the keeper’s arms.

Two minutes later Sean Clancy sent the ball in from a similar position but straight into the keeper’s arms.

Carlos Logan sent in a ball that was cleared by Scott McManus before Crooks played the ball forward for Ross Hannah who pulled his shot across the face of goal and wide.

And when Dean found Lee Gregory on the right, his cross was taken away from Hannah by a defender.

The first clear cut chance fell to Droylsden from a Shaun Holden cross which reached Logan on the right but his shot was cleared off the line by McManus.

The visitors broke the deadlock after 14 minutes after McManus had initially done well on the left.

He played the ball in field for Liam Hogan who lost out to Dale Johnson who smacked it home from 20 yards.

Four minutes later Clancy crossed at the second attempt from the left and Hannah was denied by the keeper at the near post.

Dean rose well to meet Baker’s 22nd minute corner but the keeper got down well to save at his right hand post.

The Shaymen thought they had levelled after 28 minutes when Ryan Toulson whipped in a cross from the left and defender Andy Langford’s header took it goalwards but Danzelle St Louis Hamilton in the Droylsden goal reacted superbly to save.

Danny Lowe had to be at his best to deny Steve Hall a shooting chance, sliding across the area to get a block in.

And the Shaymen made the most of it by levelling after 37 minutes when Dean regained possession on the right and raced into the area before pulling it back for Clancy who fired home low with his left foot.

Town had two chances in the dying seconds of the first half.

Gregory did well to find Dean on the left but his cross was cleared off the line by Langford while Hannah raced onto a long ball up field and thumped an effort off the foot of the post.

Garner replaced Crooks at the break and the substitute was booked within four minutes of his arrival on the pitch after he slid in on Holden.

Moments later Garner did well to regain possession and find Hannah but his cross was too deep for Gregory in the middle.

Clancy won a 51st minute corner on the left and St Louis-Hamilton punched clear.

Toulson’s throw was flicked on and died on the heavy turf with Langford clearing for a corner which Hannah spectacularly volleyed but over the bar.

The Shaymen did not have long to wait before going ahead as Clancy found McManus who crossed to the edge of the six yard box where Gregory side footed home.

The Shaymen went for the throat and Hannah was denied by the keeper before Clancy had an effort blocked by a defender.

And they had a great shout for a penalty after 58 minutes when Dean crossed from the right and Hannah’s goalbound header appeared to strike Nat Kerr on the arm, but the referee was not interested.

And Town were unfortunate just past the hour when Baker won a midfield header and Clancy moved forward before his shot was tipped onto the post by the keeper.

Town hit the post for the third time after 65 minutes when McManus crossed for Clancy whose shot on the stretch came back off the woodwork.

Droylsden threatened a minute later with a Dan Gardner shot that flew into the side netting.

Simon Eastwood did not touch it, but the referee gave a corner which flashed across the goal and wide.

Droylsden pair Logan and Patrick Lacey were spoken to by the referee after almost coming to blows in a row over who should be marking who.

And within 30 seconds Baker’s corner from the left was headed narrowly wide by Liam Hogan.

Clancy flicked on for Gregory who did well to create room in the area but his shot was poor and easily saved.

Town were awarded a penalty with six minutes remaining for Chris Brown’s challenge on Dean, but Baker’s spot kick missed the target.

There was one final chance for Baker in stoppage time but he blasted his shot from 25 yards wide of the target.