Sheffield University Bankers 0
HALIFAX returned to winning ways against a good Sheffield University Bankers side with the result being even more impressive as they had to play with 10 players for most of the game.
Martyn Boyle was the culprit, sent off on his second start after injury through dissent after being penalised for a robust challenge which will bring an automatic ban which will last at least four weeks.
Oliver James produced a much improved display as did Matthew Metcalfe in the Halifax goal, although all the team were much more committed and focused.
Matthew Pinder opened the scoring 20 minutes in when Matthew Graham slipped him the ball from a penalty corner.
With the loss of Boyle, Michael Jones had to move into a central defensive position and he had an outstanding game, marking well and distributing the ball all over the pitch.
Leigh Walker and Paul Graham controlled the back line and with the assistance of Henry Shelton restricted Sheffield to only a few half chances as Halifax protected their 1-0 lead going into the break.
The second half was 10 minutes old when Jake Bamforth got onto the end of a good move down the right wing involving Sean Colclough and Richard Nutting, Bamforth lifting the ball over the keeper from close range.
The game continued to be end to end with Matthew Graham always a threat to the Sheffield defence while the Halifax defence looked much more secure than of late.
Paul Graham found Pinder with good vision and Pinder found the space to feed Matthew Graham who skilfully beat the cover defence to dive and fire home with a reverse stick finish before the game was put to bed with another excellent individual goal by Graham who rounded the keeper and fired in with a reverse stick hit from a very tight angle, after an excellent run by Colclough who beat two defenders.
Boston Spa IV 0
Halifax III 10
HALIFAX maintained thier impressive start to their league programme with a crushing defeat of lowly Boston Spa.
It was the first time that the visitors had achieved double figures this season, but the fluency of the attack meant that goals were scored almost at will.
Halifax were missing two of the regular defenders with Bryn Hans called up to the seconds and Nick Barker at a family event. Trevor Love and Lee Chapman deputised but at no time in the game was the defence as assured as previous matches. Ironically, it was in the fixture of the biggest margin that stopper James Smith had most to do. Some of his saves were outstanding and had he not been in fine fettle Spa may have made the contest much more competitive.
Matthew Bairstow and Kristian Mayland were exceptional in attack and were ably supported by Paul Mayes and John Horsley.
By half time Halifax were out of sight with goals from Horsley twice Mayland and David Willis.
The half time team talk centred on aiming for double figures and the Fax outfit strove in the second period to achieve that aim.
As Spa became more disorganised, Halifax’s ascendancy increased. Nigel Bowers joined the fray and made the home defenders even more uncomfortable.
Goals came at regular intervals by Horsley three, Dave Manning, Kristian Mayland, Paul Mayes and Matthew Bairstow. Spa’s cause was not helped by the dismissal of two defenders.
Halifax IV 2
Boston Spa III 0
HALIFAX earned a well deserved victory over a very physical Boston Spa team at Park Lane.
A goal-less first half, including some interesting decisions made by the visiting umpire, caused frustration in the Halifax team, who were dominating play without getting their due reward.
Halifax were without two players through injury but were able to call on Dave and Sam Spencer and both enjoyed excellent games.
Halifax were reduced to 10 men towards the end of the first half and had to re-shape, holding things together before finally grabbing the first goal from a short corner, striker Dave Collins forcing the ball past the keeper who had previously denied him with three good saves.
Boston Spa hardly threatened and were content to hit long hopeful balls which Jamie Maddock and Rob Keene were able to deal with.
The strong presence of Simon Meredith and Andy Turner in the middle of the park meant Halifax kept pressing while Paul Crowther and Aidan Crowe also impressed in a great team effort.
Cameron Hellowell also had a good game using his speed to cause problems for Boston Spa who then tried to constantly knock him off the ball illegally.
Halifax secured victory when Mike Dransfield forced the ball over from close range for his third goal of the season late on.