Worcester City 0 FC Halifax Town 1

Lee Gregory battled hard for the Shaymen has he lead the line with first Dale, then Alex Johnson
Lee Gregory battled hard for the Shaymen has he lead the line with first Dale, then Alex Johnson
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Town left it late to snatch the points at Worcester after Gareth Seddon’s header proved the only goal in a fiercely contested affair.

Seddon got above everyone to plant his firm header past keeper Matt Sargeant with ten minutes to go for what was Town’s first shot on target after an inviting free-kick from Jason St Juste.

It was a fortnight since Town’s last competitive game following the postponement of three consecutive matches due to the weather - and they had to wait an extra 20 minutes to get started at St George’s Lane after the team bus broke down leaving Halifax, meaning Neil Aspin’s men arrived at the ground well over an hour late.

But the late arrival didn’t affect their performance as they were force to battle and scrap for everything against a useful Worcester side who started the day ahead of Town in the table.

Chances were few and far between with Mike Symons wasted City’s best when he blazed over from close range in first half stoppage time, and with little to chose between the sides all afternoon, Town delighted the 100 travelling fans as they took all three points.

Town were without Jason Jarrett and Paul Marshall, with Neil Aspin naming Chris Worsley and Liam Needham alongside Jon Worthington in a three man midfield, with Johnson behind Gregory and Seddon in a 4-3-3.

In a physically competitive opening Town had penalty appeals turned away after Johnson’s shot was blocked, and from the resulting counter attack Matt Glennon made a smart save to deny Greg Mills after the winger broke down Town’s right.

Mills saw another shot pushed behind by Glennon on 14 minutes - but from the resulting corner Johnson was clattered as he attempted to clear, picking up an injury which forced him off.

He was replaced by namesake Alex as Seddon dropped in behind him and Gregory, who blazed a difficult left foot volley from eight yards after reacting first to a Seddon flick.

Worthington then smashed a half volley wide and wide after the ball dropped to him 20 yards out, before Worcester lost a player of their own to injury -loanee defender Graham Hutchison hobbling off.

The hosts began to enjoy a spell of possession, though another tame Mills shot was all they had to saw for it as the Shaymen dug in - and they could have scored on the break had Jacob Rowe not slid in to block Johnson as he tried to turn in Gregory’s cross.

Just before the break Johnson should fantastic strength and determination to win a free-kick on the edge of the area which Seddon could only fire low into the wall.

Worcester’s clearance eventually resulted in a corner at the other end and from it Mike Symons missed the best chance of the half when he controlled the dropping ball 12 yards out, but with the whole goal to hit he smashed over to send the teams in level at the break.

The second half didn’t start with the same tempo as the first and chances were at a premium as both sides battled hard on a slippery pitch.

The game went as far as the 63rd minute before and second half goalmouth action, and when it came it was in the Town six yard box as Glennon looked to be fouled as he went up to claim a corner which fell kindly to Rowe, whose effort was bravely blocked, and then at the other end Chris Worsley shot over in a rare venture forward.

The chances sparked the second half into life, but when Worthington was hauled down for a free-kick just outside the box, Gregory slipped as he took it and the ball sailed harmlessly into the Town fans behind the goal.

The same man then flicked a free-kick just wide after Town’s hard work saw them win a series of free-kicks.

But Worcester were still a threat and their most lively attacker Mills fired across the six yard box but nobody was on hand to score, and Matt Breeze should have done better with 15 minutes to go when he dragged his shot wide from 20 yards.

Worthington, the most adventurous of the midfield three saw another shot blocked as Town looked to snatch it.

And they were ahead on 79 minutes when, after Johnson earned a free-kick down the right, Seddon rose highest to arrow his header past Matt Sargeant in the Worcester goal after a delightful St Juste delivery.

Scott McManus, on from the bench, saw a left foot effort palmed away with three minutes to go as Town looked to grab a second.

It didn’t come though, and the Shaymen saw out the final exchanges to claim a well earned and vital three points.

Worcester City: Sargeant, Weir, Deeny, Thorley, Hutchison (Ayres, 28 mins), Rowe, Breeze, Elvins, Symons (Glover, 67 mins), Patterson (Thompson, 81 mins), Mills. Unused subs: Reece, Thompson.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, St Juste, Hogan, Worsley, Lowe, Worthington, Needham, Dale Johnson (Alex Johnson, 17 mins), Gregory (Gardner, 90 mins), Seddon. Unused subs: Senior, Gardner, Bolland.

Goals: (Seddon (79)

Attendance: 1.032

HT: 0-0