FC Halifax Town 2-0 York

editorial image

Goals in each half from Jake Hibbs and Connor Hughes gave FC Halifax Town a 2-0 win over York in their final game of pre-season.

There was no obvious bridge in quality as, appropriately enough on Yorkshire Day, two sides from the county squared up.

York came into the game on the back of an impressive 2-1 win over a strong Newcastle team, but it was subdued display from the Minstermen on the back of such a morale-boosting victory.

Only Kevin Roberts was absent through injury for Town, who only started with only three first-team regulars from last season’s squad - a sign of the overhaul the team has undergone since the end of the previous campaign.

But they can head to Boreham Wood in decent shape after an assured performance here. Of the two sides, York would seem to have more to worry about with the season about to begin.

Pre-season is a notoriously unreliable standard-bearer for Halifax, who were beaten 3-1 at home by Stockport on the eve of the new campaign two years ago; a campaign that ended in the play-off semi-finals.

Clues will be looked for from Neil Aspin’s starting eleven as to how close it will be to the team that starts at Boreham Wood next week.

Hibbs was arguably the most surprising inclusion but didn’t look out of place. Who’s to say he won’t retain his spot next Saturday?

Kingsley James was at the fulcrum of Town’s patient early possession, with fellow midfielders Elliott Whitehouse and Hibbs showing some neat touches without executing a killer pass.

York were more incisive in the early exchanges, with Callum Rzonca firing across goal after slipping free down the left flank and charging into the box.

That was the sole effort at goal until Hibbs’ opener; a delightful free-kick from 20 yards out that curled out of Scott Flinders’ reach.

Moments later, had the chance fallen to an attacker rather then right-back Marvin McCoy, York could have levelled, but he scuffed his shot when well placed, with the ball rolling under the feet of striker Vadaine Oliver.

Jordan Burrow came close to scoring twice in as many minutes, with a header comfortably saved and a poke towards goal that rolled just wide after a nice interchange between the lively Sean Tuton and the marauding James Bolton.

Tuton and Hibbs were the stand-out players in blue from the opening half, with Hibbs displaying a deftness of touch and an eye for a pass along with a voracious work-rate.

York had offered practically nothing in response to Hibbs’ goal, with Brown and Bencherif mopping up what little came their way with a minimum of fuss.

Just after referee Martin Coy was forced off with an injury, Hibbs struck a thunderous drive that whistled just over the bar with Flinders floundering.

York’s four changes at half-time hadn’t helped them find any rhythm since the interval, prompting the thought of how poor Newcastle must have been in midweek, with Matt Glennon remaining as much of a spectator as Mr Coy now was until James Berrett’s harmless shot on goal with 15 minutes remaining.

In a passage of play entirely redundant from their previous 80-odd minutes, a Maradona-esque run by substitute Lindon Meikle sliced through the Town defence before he played in Josh Carson, but Glennon saved when Carson should have scored.

That proved a costly miss as, moments later, substitute Hughes swept the ball in right-footed from 10 yards.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, Bencherif, Brown (Hutchison 46), McManus, Macdonald (Walker 77), James, Whitehouse (Hattersley 77), Hibbs, Burrow (Bishop 77), Tuton (Hughes 77). Subs not used: Porter.

Scorer: Hibbs (14), Hughes (87)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 4

York: Flinders, McCoy (Nolan 62), McCombe (Ilesanmi 46), Winfield (Hare 73), Straker (Carson 46), Summerfield, Lowe (Swan 73), Platt (Godfrey 46), Berrett, Oliver, Rzonca (Meikle 46). Subs not used: Price.

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 3

Corners: 2

Attendance: 678

Town man of the match: Jake Hibbs