Maidenhead 0-0 FC Halifax Town

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FC Halifax Town moved another point closer to safety with a hard-fought 0-0 draw at Maidenhead.

Barring an early flurry of chances for Maidenhead, both teams failed to impose themselves on a poor contest devoid of excitement.

Most of the game was stuck in a tangle of physical tussles and fights for second balls; pretty much what you’d expect from your average National League game in early January.

But the result represents a useful point for Billy Heath’s team, who again showed a willingness to work hard for the cause and were defensively disciplined and well organised.

Maidenhead boss Alan Devonshire will have wanted a reaction from his side after back-to-back defeats, and got one in a bright first 20 minutes from his team.

It would have been a disastrous start for Town had Sam Johnson not kept out Ryan Upward’s shot from inside the box in the first five minutes.

Less than 10 had gone when Sean Marks headed against the bar, before Moses Emmanuel then headed wide from eight yards moments later.

Upward was again denied by Johnson after half-an-hour after Maidenhead broke from a Town corner.

Halifax were making little impression on the hosts’ defence, with too many high balls up to the largely ineffective George Waring, who started in place of Tom Denton, leading to nothing.

As at Dover, Macclesfield and Aldershot of late, it was a case of doing the hard yards and trying to stop the opposition from playing.

The pace of Emmanuel and support from deep of the impressive Upward and Harry Pritchard was causing the visitors problems.

Town got to grips with the hosts as the opening half went on and their early threat eventually dissipated, but The Shaymen were on the back foot for most of the opening half, with the away side struggling to maintain possession for any meaningful length of time.

Town’s first effort on goal came just before the hour mark when the returning Matty Brown’s header was well saved by Carl Pentney from Jake Hibbs’ corner.

Michael Collins saw more of the ball after half-time as Halifax demonstrated a bit more control in possession, but still didn’t offer enough attacking threat.

Neither did the hosts though in a game that had got worse as it went on, with Maidenhead lacking the creativity or quality to break Halifax down, and seeming ti run out of ideas as the game wore on.

Maidenhead: Pentney, Clerima, Massey, Odametery, Steer, Emmanuel (Owusu 73), Comley, Pritchard, Goodman, Upward, Marks. Subs not used: Peters, Hammond, Kilman.

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 8

Halifax: Johnson, Moyo, Brown, Garner, Wilde, Macdonald, Hibbs, Collins, Clarke, Tomlinson (Kosylo 73), Waring (Denton 54). Subs not used: Nicholson, Oliver, Duckworth.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 2

Corners: 6

Attendance: 1,229

Referee: Savvas Yianni

Town Man of the match: Michael Collins