Oldham Athletic 0-1 FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

Pete Wild showed former club Oldham what they are missing as his FC Halifax Town reign got off to a winning start with a 1-0 victory at Boundary Park.

Cameron King's delightful cross from the right was deftly nodded back across goal and in by Town's number seven trialist less than two minutes in.

Perhaps Town's team huddle after finishing their pre-match warm-up was a signal of intent of the cohesion and coherence that was to follow.

The inclusion of Sanmi Odelusi and former Accrington midfielder Liam Nolan were certainly two talking points among Town's squad. Whether either is involved at Ebsfleet remains to be seen.

But on this evidence, Ebbsfleet beware.

Jamie Allen started as a striker in a 4-2-3-1 formation for Town, with Cameron King in the number 10 role.

The Shaymen pressed high at the right time and kept their shape defensively, with Wild a constant presence on the touchline, kicking every ball.

If Halifax are to be cast in the mould of their manager, expect energy, passion and enthusiasm.

Their was an aggressiveness about Town at times, while at others they funneled back to frustrate their hosts, who often struggled to make an impression in possession.

Halifax had more bright moments, like when Allen was played in with a superb lofted pass but his shot was blocked, and from the resulting corner, another effort was deflected wide.

Town fans were giving it the ole's by the midway point of the first-half as their side produced a flowing move started by extravagant skill from their impressive trialist left-back, although the final pass from King went astray.

Wild seemed keen for Town to play at pace as soon as they were in possession high up the pitch, which was more than could be said for their more pedestrian opponents.

Oldham came to life for the first time a few minutes before the break when striker Urko Vera showed great technique to control the ball and then turn and volley towards goal, with Sam Johnson tipping the shot over.

Halifax had been positive and progressive on the ball, and calm and controlled at the back, getting better as the first-half went on.

Oldham remained disjointed and lacked urgency after the restart, while Town were sharper and slicker.

Chances were few, but Town continued to look more comfortable and assured, retaining possession for decent periods, although they were less of a threat in-behind than the opening half.

Mohamed Maouche fired in a shot that whistled past the post from 25 yards, but Oldham were showing little improvement.

Jack Earing, Tobi Sho-Silva and two trialists came on after an hour in which King and Allen had offered encouraging signs they could link-up well.

Josh Macdonald, Jacob Hanson and Odelusi followed 10 minutes later, with the tempo of the game sagging.

Substitute Johan Branger-Engone weaved through Town challenges before his shot was bravely blocked to preserve Halifax's lead with 15 minutes remaining.

Odelusi's cross nearly found Sho-Silva at one end before Oldham came close three times, once through Staunton's clearance on the stretch, then when Kielen Adams' shot was blocked, and then when a corner was headed wide at the far post by Alex Iacovitti.

Oldham keeper Gary Woods then turned a fiercely struck Town shot behind as the contest sprang back to life for its culmination.

Sho-Silva's shot was then well saved by Woods after Earing's clever through ball.

Oldham: Woods, Mills, Hamer, Stott, Iacovitti, Sylla, Vera, Missilou, Azankpo, Maouche, Nepomuceno. Subs: Zabret, Sefil, Adams, Trialist, Wilson, Branger-Engone.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 9

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Staunton, Trialist, Maher, Nolan, Trialist, King, Allen, Trialist. Subs: Appleyard, Odelusi, Trialist, Sho-Silva, Earing, Nolan, Macdonald, Hanson, Freedman, Trialist.

Scorer: Trialist (7)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 7

Referee: Scott Oldham

Town man of the match: Cameron King