Aldershot 0-1 FC Halifax Town: Waters scores again as Shaymen make it 10 points from 12
Billy Waters’ seventh goal of the season was enough to seal FC Halifax Town’s third win in four games as they beat Aldershot 1-0.
It was a mixture of style and substance from The Shaymen, scoring a nicely-worked goal and playing some attractive football in the first-half, before digging in to hold off an improved Aldershot after the break.
It’s now ten points from the last 12 for Halifax, who are growing very convincingly into the season.
It wasn’t exactly a 100mph start by Aldershot, considering it was new manager Mark Molesley’s first match in charge; instead it was the unchanged Halifax who pressed more aggressively in midfield and played the sharper football early on.
Harvey Gilmour, Matty Warburton and Kieran Green were all having an influence, getting on the ball in decent areas and trying to play.
Toby Edser had a free-kick saved by Sam Johnson before his lovely dinked pass found Mo Bettamer, who dragged his shot across goal from an angle.
But the home side weren’t as assured and confident on the ball as The Shaymen, who had come here to attack and take charge of the game.
And after Green’s cross-field pass, Town were in business, catching the Aldershot defence cold on the left of the box, and from Warburton’s clever pass to his left, Waters fired low across goal in off the far post.
Aldershot’s defence looked shaky every time Town attacked, with the quick footwork and movement of Warburton and Waters making inroads, while Green was dominant in midfield, regaining possession and using it well.
No wonder assistant manager Chris Millington was clapping his encouragement on the touchline.
By the time Waters had typically dispossessed the hesitant Alfy Whittingham following a Shots corner, with around ten minutes of the first-half to go, the fans were starting to get restless, perhaps envying the passion and intensity the visitors were displaying.
It certainly wasn’t being matched by the hosts.
Shots’ top-scorer Corie Andrews was lively, quick and a threat in-behind, but he was starting to stand-out like a sore thumb against his ineffective team-mates.
Never mind the petrol shortage, Town had plenty in the tank, while Aldershot were running on empty.
Halifax had scored with their only effort of the opening half, but Green and Warburton had typified the effort and control The Shaymen had exuded over the contest, constantly mopping up loose balls, finding possession and linking attacks, with Kian Spence quietly effective alongside them.
He had a rising drive over the bar seven minutes into a second-half in which Aldershot hadn’t improved much.
Bettamer’s driven free-kick from 20 yards was deflected wide, but from open play, The Shots were struggling to make an impact, despite seeing more of the ball.
There was certainly more life about the home side after the interval, geed on by a crowd that could see the increase in tempo and exertion.
Town were defending their own box with more desperation, especially from set-pieces, but defend it they did, with Niall Maher and Tom Bradbury repelling most of the danger.
Halifax didn’t have the time on the ball they’d enjoyed in the first-half; how Aldershot were playing now was how they should have started the match.
Some game management then started to kick in from Halifax though, retaining possession, supporting the man on the ball and quietening the crowd, who like their team, seemed to come right off the gas after that wave of attacks.
Johnson tipped over substitute George Fowler’s dipping shot from 25 yards, but long-range shots were what the hosts had been reduced to, with Halifax defending diligently, working hard to protect their lead.
Aldershot: Walker, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Fowler 68), Phillips, Lyons-Foster, Kinsella, Whittingham (Willard 57), Edser, Harris, Berkeley-Agyepong, Andrews, Bettamer (Aouachria 70). Subs not used: Saunders, Akanbi.
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 7
Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Maher, Bradbury, Senior, Spence (Woods 56), Green, Slew (Allen 69), Warburton, Gilmour (Vale 84), Waters. Subs not used: McDonagh, Tear.
Scorer: Waters (26)
Shots on target: 1
Shots off target: 5
Attendance: 1,622 (74 away)
Referee: Daniel Lamport
Town man of the match: Kieran Green for delivering another all-action performance in midfield, driving his team on with energy and commitment.