MATCH VERDICT: FC Halifax Town 1-1 Yeovil Town

Jeff King's early goal was cancelled out by Courtney Duffus as FC Halifax Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Yeovil Town at The Shay.

Tuesday, 13th October 2020, 11:05 pm
FC Halifax Town v Yeovil Town

Halifax should have gone in at half-time leading by more than their one goal, and had they done, the result would probably have been different.

But Yeovil fought back, and probably deserved their point in an entertaining game between two sides who should do well this season.

After a tough first week, things didn't get any easier on paper, with Yeovil another well-fancied side.

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The visitors started well, pressing strongly and seeing shots deflected wide, with one particularly excellent block by Nathan Clarke.

But after a searing burst of pace down the left by Jamie Allen, King was left criminally unmarked near the far post to smash in the cross.

It could have been two but Martin Woods, one of two changes along with Jack Senior, failed to convert after another burst into the box by Allen down the right.

Yeovil responded well to King's goal, pinning Halifax back inside their own half, making The Shaymen work hard off the ball to keep them at arm's length, none more so than the tenacious Luke Summerfield, again impressing in midfield.

But for all their possession, few inroads were made by the away side.

Halifax were solid again in defence, well-organised and disciplined. They just needed more composure in possession to stop inviting Yeovil back onto them.

The Glovers were patient, looking for one-twos around the box, but were unable to get through Town's sturdy back-line, led brilliantly by Clarke.

Yeovil's propensity for measured build-up play required high levels of concentration from Town, to stay switched-on, stick with their runners and sense danger.

When they did almost slice through, Niall Byrne was alert to the danger before a shot was produced.

King again caught the eye down the right flank for Halifax, winning free-kicks to relieve pressure, bombing forward to provide width and often offering the best outlet in attacks.

He was again heavily involved, along with Allen, in setting up a great chance for Woods shortly before half-time, but his shot was saved from close range by Adam Smith, before Gold Omotayo's follow-up was blocked.

Pete Wild admitted Town needed to be more clinical after Saturday's draw at Boreham Wood; had his side been, they'd have gone in 3-0 up at half-time.

Omotayo, up against his former club, struggled to get involved to the same extent as strike partner Allen, who offered such a threat with his pace and directness.

So much so that Omotayo, who scored twice at The Shay for Yeovil last season, was replaced by Gevaro Nepomuceno at the break.

Albi Skendi wasted a good chance from a clever short free-kick, and then Rhys Murphy squandered another clear opportunity from a similar angle but closer to goal.

But Yeovil's pressure told when Duffus took advantage of a weak back header and looped the ball over Sam Johnson.

It was now a finely-balanced contest, with Town needing to start again from square one, and Yeovil rejuvenated by their equaliser.

The goal was like a release valve for the game, which was an even one and an open one.

Both sides had the ball in good areas in the opposition half, but a combination of good defending or the lack of a final pass conspired against them.

Only a remarkable double save from Johnson kept the scores level with 20 minutes remaining though, first from Charlie Lee after an excellent one-two, and then from Matt Warburton's follow-up.

The match was getting stretched, perhaps as bodies tired in their fourth game in 11 days; any third goal looked like the winner.

Allen's pace again saw him burst into space down the right, but from his low pass, Earing's shot was blocked, superbly, with Nepomuceno free to his left.

Keeper Adam Smith, who had earlier saved well at the feet of Kieran Green from a corner, then produced a terrific stop to keep out substitute Gevaro Nepomuceno's free-kick.

Substitute Joe Quigley nearly won it with a debut goal, but his header in added time went inches wide.

Halifax: Johnson, Byrne, Clarke, Bradbury, King, Senior, Summerfield, Woods, Green (Earing 60), Allen, Omotayo (Nepomuceno 46). Subs not used: Davison-Hale, Maher, Williams.

Scorer: King (6)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 6

Yeovil: Smith, Leadbitter, Collins, Wilkinson, Burke (Rogers 46), Lee, Staunton, Warburton, Skendi, Duffus, Murphy (Quigley 72). Subs not used: Dickinson, Smith, Worthington.

Scorer: Duffus (52)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 10

Corners: 5

Referee: Garreth Rhodes

Town man of the match: Luke Summerfield - another excellent display from the midfielder, who played with intelligence and bravery, was strong in the tackle and always available for a pass