Frustrating afternoon for Shaymen as unbeaten league run comes to an end at Maidenhead

FC Halifax Town lost in the league for the first time since the end of September as they were defeated 1-0 at Maidenhead United.
York RoadYork Road
York Road

Games between the sides at York Road are never classics and rarely high-scoring, and this was no exception.

Kane Ferdinand's first-half goal proved decisive in Town's first game for two weeks. It wasn't really worth the wait.

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Maidenhead didn't do enough to win it, but the problem was neither did Halifax.

The Shaymen didn't deserve to lose but couldn't produce enough to get back into it, despite piling on the pressure as the second-half went on.

The only shot in an uneventful first 20 minutes was Max Wright's effort which hit the roof of a nearby house.

If they were watching the game through the window, they might have been tempted to draw the curtains.

Not that Town had done too much wrong.

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There was a shot wide by Florent Hoti - he, Milli Alli and Ryan Galvin were carrying the most threat for Halifax on the left side of the pitch, where most of their attacks originated.

The visitors got into some dangerous positions but poor decision-making or execution of their choices let them down.

There was hardly a torrent of chances from Town but Maidenhead had offered even less, which made their opener even more frustrating, when a follow up cross after a corner was converted by Ferdinand.

Ex-Halifax forward Tobi Sho-Silva had won plenty of headers but usually flicked them on to an invisible strike partner.

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Wingers Reece Smith and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson had offered glimpses of menace but Town had contained the hosts comfortably, other than their goal.

Maidenhead had been combative, physical and awkward. And now had a lead to protect.

That called for ingenuity from Halifax, some creativity and incisiveness to prise the hosts open.

Aaron Cosgrave nearly provided it with a curling shot just wide of the far post from the left of the box.

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There had been a lot of upfield punts and midfield battles over second balls, but not enough quality.

The fact that Maidenhead had been unconvincing, to say the least, offered hope of a Halifax comeback but it still needed The Shaymen to take things up a notch to expose the hosts' fragility and punish their defensive frailties.

Sam Beckwith came within millimetres of doubling Maidenhead's lead shortly after the restart when Sam Johnson saved his effort right on the line, with the hosts protesting it had crossed it.

Only a terrific save by Johnson then prevented Mitchell-Lawson from finding the net with a low shot across goal.

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If anyone looked like they'd stepped things up, it was Maidenhead, who were producing some decent football and attacking with cohesion.

Town were toiling a bit in comparison, looking flat, their efforts summed up by Jack Hunter's timid low shot wide.

Alli produced his first real moment of quality with a fierce shot that Craig Ross tipped over, but that was soon followed by an effort he skewed well wide.

Halifax had what looked like a good shout for a penalty turned down after Max Wright appeared to be tripped on the right of the Maidenhead box.

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The introduction of Luke Summerfield had at least injected more urgency into Town's play, but a cutting edge still eluded them.

Maidenhead were now defunct as an attacking outfit, with Town dominating, but that wasn't being converted into chances - an all-too-familiar problem.

Charlee Adams was sent-off for a second booking five minutes from time, moments before Hoti's free-kick was tipped over by Ross.

After being camped on the edge of their own box, ironically, Maidenhead created the best chance late on with Johnson denying substitute Sam Barratt.

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Alli went close with practically the last kick, but Maidenhead clung on.

Maidenhead: Ross, Asare, Golding, Clerima, Beckwith, Ferdinand, Pettit, Smith, Adams, Mitchell-Lawson (Barratt 78), Sho-Silva (Massey 90). Subs not used: Parsons, Omilabu, Zimba.

Scorer: Ferdinand (35)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 3

Corners: 5

Halifax: Johnson, Senior (Golden 76), Keane, Stott, Wright, Hunter (Summerfield 64), Thomson-Sommers (Oluwabori 87), Galvin, Hoti, Alli, Cosgrave. Subs not used: Wilson, Chikukwa.

Shots on target: 5

Shot off target: 12

Corners: 8

Referee: Aaron Jackson

Attendance: 1,741

Town man of the match: Ryan Galvin. Worked hard to get up and down the left flank, got into some dangerous positions and looked a threat.

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