FC Halifax Town 0-0 Aldershot

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FC Halifax Town remain two points above the National League relegation zone after an uninspiring 0-0 draw at home to strugglers Aldershot.

In a forgettable contest, Town failed to reproduce their impressive previous home display against Salford, exhibiting none of the spirited, rousing football from that game, and stretched their goalless run to seven-and-a-half hours.

With the gap to the bottom four cut to two points and an Aldershot side on a club-record winless run of 17 games, Town needed a win probably more than at any other point in the season, and will be hugely disappointed not to have done so.

Town’s record against the teams below them in the table now reads played 10, won three, drawn three and lost four.

Dominic Bernard’s early shot was straight at Sam Johnson from 30 yards, but Town responded immediately with a flick header by Scott Quigley from Ryan Sellers’ cross, that keeper Jake Cole palmed away.

A marauding run and cross by Sellers then led to Quigley’s shot from a tight angle being deflected over.

Aldershot had a couple of efforts blocked, but their attacking intent and threat was sporadic, meaning Town enjoyed the territorial advantage.

Sellers had been productive down the left channel, not hesitating to push forward to good effect, although Town were missing Jacob Hanson’s similar attacking spirit down the right.

A decent move saw that man Sellers release Kosylo down the right, but Jordan Preston, having moved the ball onto his right foot from the cut-back, ballooned his shot over.

Quigley had been a willing runner up-front but didn’t get much joy against Aldershot’s three centre-backs, while Ben Tomlinson - replacing sickness bug victim Cameron King - and Matty Kosylo had not seen enough of the ball in the final third.

Jake Gallagher and Bernard had shots blocked as Town struggled to engineer any real momentum or intensity to their play. By half-time, those Quigley efforts seemed a long time ago.

Aldershot had lined-up with five strung across the back - and another player sitting in-front of that - and generally succeeded in stifling Halifax in a half bereft of clear-cut chances.

The loss of Bernard Mensah, the only Aldershot player to have scored in their last five games, to injury appeared to have deprived the visitors of their main source of inspiration.

But Town’s front four hadn’t fared much better, rarely penetrating Aldershot’s sturdily-constructed defensive structure in a flat performance.

The Winner Takes It All was playing when Town re-emerged from the changing room at the interval, which was probably the message from Jamie Fullarton too.

A four-on-two break looked promising a few minutes after the restart, but Quigley opted to go right to Kosylo rather than left where two team-mates were, and the chance fizzled out.

A few minutes after that, Niall Maher drove a free-kick from 30 yards wide after Quigley had been fouled.

Town remained in control of the contest, but the contest remained a poor spectacle.

James Hardy was brought on for his debut in place of Quigley - who is now seven games without a goal - with Preston shifting up-front.

Ten minutes later, Preston was moved to the right when Jonathan Edwards was sent on up top.

All of which did little to lift Town’s level of performance, which was untidy and unrefined, as was the game, although Hardy showed some nice touches.

Substitute Reece Grant had a good chance to edge Aldershot in-front, but his header to meet John Goddard’s dinked cross was too tame and easily saved.

At the other end, some pressure was applied when James Berrett’s free-kick was headed over by Maher near the penalty spot, before Matty Brown’s shot was blocked after Kosylo’s cross.

Substitute Gerry McDonagh nearly won it late on but his low shot just went wide from 10 yards before boos greeted the final whistle.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Sellers, Berrett, Maher, Tomlinson (Edwards 71), Preston, Kosylo, Quigley (Hardy 60). Subs not used: Rowley, Staunton, Ferry.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 6

Aldershot: Cole, Lelan (McDonagh 86), Elokobi, Bernard, Menayese, Howell, Booty, Gallagher (McDonnell 75), Goddard, Mensah (Grant 34), Rendell. Subs not used: Finney.

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 4

Attendance: 1,650

Referee: Martin Woods

Town man of the match: Ryan Sellers