Woking 0-0 FC Halifax Town

Kingfield Stadium, Woking
Kingfield Stadium, Woking
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FC Halifax Town produced a dogged display to claim a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Woking.

Considering Town’s form on the road and Woking’s record at home, a draw was always on the cards, but the Shaymen were made to work hard for the point.

After conceding the latest of late equalisers on Tuesday, the Town defence seemed even more determined to shut out their opponents as they stood firm against a host of Woking chances.

If the draw against Nuneaton was disappointing, the point here was much more welcome.

Neil Aspin made three changes to the side that started the 2-2 draw with Nuneaton on Tuesday, with Lee Gregory and Adam Smith making welcome returns to the team along wiuth Lois Maynard, with Josh Wilson, Kevin Holsgrove and John McReady all dropping to the bench.

If Town threw away two points last time out through a lack of concentration, then the visitors needed to be switched on from the word go as Woking burst out of the blocks with John Goddard firing wide from the edge of the box and Scott Rendell heading off target from Adam Newton’s cross.

Simon Ainge also started like he had a point to prove as he flung himself in front of more than one goalbound shot in the opening 10 minutes.

Town weathered the early storm before Lois Maynard flicked Paul Marshall’s free-kick wide and Gregory’s shot was comfortably saved by Sam Beasant.

Ainge then got a clear sight of goal after Marc Roberts’ header from Marshall’s corner, but the centre-back blazed over from 12 yards.

Chances were traded between the sides as the opening half progressed, with Joe McNerney coming closest of all midway through the half when his header flashed just wide.

Rendell then wasted a clear chance after Woking capitalised on sloppy play by Dan Gardner as Kevin Betsy charged towards goal before playing in Rendell, who squandered the opening by dragging his shot across goal.

Woking’s storm didn’t quite regain its early strength but Town remained under the weather for most of the first-half, needing a resolute defensive display to stem the tide.

The offside flag then sparted Gardner’s blushes at the start of the second-half when he skewed his shot wide from six yards after persistent play by Maynard had created the opportunity.

Matt Glennon then produced a superb reaction save to deny McNerney inside the box before Rendell again fired off-target as the hosts got closer to breaking the deadlock.

The traffic was increasingly one-way as the second-half wore on, with Town forced to dig deep to maintain parity, as Ainge and Marc Roberts repelled everything that was thrown at them.

The nerves weren’t helped by a penalty appeal from the hosts after Scott McManus’ challenge inside the area, but the Town defence refused to buckle under increasing pressure.

Kevin Holsgrove’s cross then just evaded Adam Smith at the far post as Town looked to produce a smash-and-grab winner, but the hosts looked far likelier to find the net and came closest yet when Josh Payne’s angled free-kick hit the top of the bar with five minutes left.

Josh Wilson then struck the outside of the post from a free-kick at the other end as the tension was cranked up to almost unbearable levels.

But thankfully the stoppage time period was far less dramatic than the previous one and Town held on to double their away points tally for the season.

Woking: Beasant, Newton, Nutter, Ricketts, McNerney, Parkinson, Williams (Sole 78), Betsy, Payne, Rendell, Goddard (McNamee 78). Subs not used: Howe, Cestor, Frith.

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 1

Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, Ainge, Roberts, McManus, Smith (McReady 82), Maynard, Pearson, Marshall (Holsgrove 65), Gardner (Wilson 82), Gregory. Subs not used: Senior, Lowe.

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 3

Attendance: 1,552

Town man of the match: Simon Ainge