Late goal salvages a point for Halifax against York but Town miss their chance to move back into the play-offs

FC Halifax Town missed their chance to move back into the play-offs as they drew 1-1 at home with York City.
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Town avoided back-to-back defeats for the first time in two months but it felt like an opportunity missed.

The Shaymen deserve credit for keeping going right to the end when most had given up hope, but they are now running out of time and games in hand to get into the top seven.

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Dipo Akinyemi's goal looked to have won it for York, who will argue they deserved all three points against an out-of-sorts Shaymen.

The ShayThe Shay
The Shay

Both defences were much more effective than either attack in an underwhelming first 45.

Rob Harker's header wide from an excellent Ryan Galvin cross was followed by ex-Town loanee Dan Batty's shot straight at Sam Johnson around five minutes in.

But that spurt of productivity was followed by some pretty turgid, untidy football; too many passes were wayward, too many touches weren't good enough on a shabby excuse for a pitch.

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It was two teams trying to find a rhythm but not succeeding, trying to exert control over a contest when control of the ball was enough of a challenge on most areas of the surface.

It felt a long time until Andrew Oluwabori's scuffed shot wide just before the half-hour point, which preceded York top-scorer Dipo Akinyemi's better shot narrowly off target moments later.

This wasn't the blood-and-guts Town display evidenced against Chesterfield. The hosts were missing the grit and gumption from that game.

When Halifax did get it right, which wasn't often, they produced the best move of the game yet, not that there were many other contenders, as Luke Summerfield picked out Galvin's run down the left and his cross was prodded wide at full stretch by Harker.

But passages like that were the exception.

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The Shaymen needed quick, accurate passing to penetrate a well-organised York team who had beaten top-seven sides Chesterfield, Aldershot and Bromley in their last three outings.

If Halifax wanted to regain a play-off place, they'd have to earn it.

But York were being inspired by their desire to stay in the National League more than Halifax were to get out of it, with The Minstermen the better side after the restart.

Town were sluggish, lacking cohesion and unable to respond. They needed some urgency as much as The Shay pitch needed grass.

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Substitute Jamie Cooke helped add that, and with it, halted York's momentum as Halifax finally showed a bit of menace.

But on the balance of play, York had a strong argument to say they deserved their lead when the excellent Akinyema converted a cross from the right after a free-kick was half-cleared.

Halifax created a couple of penalty appeals after challenges on Cooke in the box, but not chances, with George Sykes-Kenworthy still to be tested as the clock ticked down.

Halifax ended the game in the same way they spent too much of it, passing it around the back and not offering a threat.

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But after Sykes-Kenworthy was finally called into action to tip the ball onto the bar, Harker tapped in the rebound to salvage a point.

Halifax: Johnson, Golden, Senior, Stott, Galvin, Hunter, Summerfield (Thomson-Sommers 69), Wright (George 75), Hoti, Oluwabori (Cooke 63), Harker. Subs not used: Evans, Jenkins.

Scorer: Harker (90+5)

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 2

York: Sykes-Kenworthy, Amos, Fallowfield, Howe, Batty, Hunt, Armstrong (Castro 86), Chadwick, Kouhyar, Akinyemi (McLaughlin 86), Fishburn (John-Lewis 67). Subs not used: Siziba, Smith.

Scorer: Akinyema (74)

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 3

Referee: Michael Crusham

Attendance: 2,734 (1,006 away)

Town man of the match: Not many contenders. Jamie Stott was his usual reliable self at the back and didn't put a foot wrong.

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