FC Halifax Town 0-0 Solihull Moors: Nothing to separate promotion rivals

FC Halifax Town slipped to third in the National League as they drew 0-0 at home with promotion rivals Solihull Moors.

By Tom Scargill
Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 9:41 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 9:44 pm
Halifax v Solihull
Halifax v Solihull

If these two teams are to meet again in the play-offs, it will be very difficult to separate them.

The draw changed little in their respective pushes for promotion, and only reinforced that they both posses enough to be considered serious contenders.

Both teams were neat and tidy on the ball, passing crisply and sharply.

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But they both found clear chances hard to come by, Solihull more so than Town early on, who had shots on target from Billy Waters and Gerry McDonagh.

The two defences were both aggressive and assured, giving nothing away and necessitating an error or something high quality to breach them.

Solihull were too well organised and too defensively sound for Halifax to dominate them, but likewise, The Shaymen were too combative and too aggressive for them to be overrun.

Callum Maycock, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture this season, had a shot from inside the box straight at Sam Johnson, before Joe Sbarra also tested the Town keeper from 20 yards with a rising drive.

Both sides were more effective off the ball than on it, neither able to assert their superiority over the other.

Solihull left-back Harry Boyes had a go from nearly 30 yards as half-time approached, an indication of how few opportunities had been created, or looked likely to be.

Solihull had been comfortable on the ball throughout, playing out from the back and passing through the thirds.

Town too had looked confident, with some decent passages of play.

But despite the quality on show, there wasn't enough of it in the final third.

It was when both teams reached the others' penalty area that they lacked the incisiveness required, although it was to Halifax's credit that a clearly potent Solihull attack had been smothered, with Niall Maher alert and alive to danger in the heart of defence.

Waters, who had replaced Zak Dearnley in Town's only change, had a shot cleared off the line shortly after the restart, as the second-half started to offer more hints of a goal.

There were nearly moments for both sides, with through balls beginning to look menacing and a noticeable increase in the intensity of the contest.

Johnson produced a fine reaction save to keep out a stinging effort by Solihull's top-scorer Andrew Dallas, who was otherwise kept quiet, before Maher cleared slowly rolling ball off the line.

The tension was gradually rising in a finely balanced game, which was looking increasingly like first-goal-wins.

But as the clock ticked down, the intensity levels dropped and the chances dried up, in what finished as a fair result for Town's first goalless draw since October.

Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Debrah, Maher, Bradbury, Green (Summerfield 71), Spence (Woods 73), Waters, Warburton (Slew 81), Gilmour, McDonagh. Subs not used: Bird, Dearnley

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 5

Solihull: Boot, Clarke, Howe, Maynard, Boyes, Maycock, Osborne, Sbarra, Barnett, Dallas (Hudlin 74), Newton (Storer 85). Subs not used: Cranston, Reilly, Ellis.

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 5

Referee: Lewis Smith

Attendance: 1,750

Town man of the match: Niall Maher. A very good defensive display, helped keep Solihull's attack fairly quiet and was always in the right place at the right time.