Deadly Matthew keeps Halifax riding high

A master class from Matthew Graham ensured Halifax overcame their toughest test so far this season, beating Chapeltown 4-3.

Graham scored all their goals as Halifax made it four wins out of four in Yorkshire Two against a Leeds side with a good, solid passing game.

Both teams probed for early openings and while Halifax showed more adventure, their final pass was not good enough to create opportunity until the Graham show started.

A good move down the right involving Josh Sutcliffe, Kristian Mayland and Jake Bamforth saw the ball fall to Matthew Bairstow. His shot was mishit but Graham was first to the loose ball andscored.

Chapletown hit back almost immediately from a well worked penalty corner but when Tom Love drove into the D and was fouled, Graham despatched the corner with an audicious reverse stick hit that wrong footed the ‘keeper.

Sloppy marking allowed Chapletown to equalise.

Michael Jones spread the play well after the break to stretch Chapletown and Graham completed his hat trick with a rocket shot.

Ten minutes later he produced another unstoppable effort when put in space by the clever play of Mayland.

Chapletown pressed and timely tackles were needed from veteran Paul Graham, Josh Foreman and Dave Wheatley plus a great save from Matthew Metcalfe.

Chapeltown got a third in the closing seconds but Halifax will go to Wakefield tomorrow (11.30) in confident mood.

Halifax gained their first point of the season with a 2-2 draw away to Sheffield Hallam fifths.

They welcomed back David Willis, Chris Reynolds and Paul Wheatley.

Hallam started the stronger but Nick Barker, Bryan Hans and Chris Reynoldsmarked and tackle efficiently. When short corners were conceded, James Smith was smart and agile making fine saves.

The home side took the lead through a defensive slip just when Halifax seemed to have weathered the storm.

Undeterred the visitors set about Sheffield in the second period with veteran Steve Fawkes increasingly infuential and substitute Cameron Hellowell showing enthusiasm and athleticism.

David Willis scored a deserved equaliser from a right wing move and Halifax hit the front throgh John Horsley from a well worked short corner.

However, Halifax took their foot off the gas and with time running out Hallam levelled following another blunder.

Halifax thirds are still searching for a first win of the season after hosts Wakefield fourths scored twice in the last 10 minutes to forced a 2-2 draw.

Stephen Lapworth came in for the promoted James Smith in goal and the midfield was bolstered by Simon Meredith.

Halifax began confidently with more possession than in previous games but a string of good saves by the Wakefield ‘keeperfrustrated the visitors.

At the other end, Graham Rodgers and Jamie Maddock nullified most of the Wakefield attacks and the game remained goal less up to half time.

Halifax soon made a deserved breakthrough. A superb long ball from Maddock found Dave Collins and despite the close attention of the Wakefield keeper, he slotted home.

Collins again found himself one on one with the keeper and made it 2-0.

Halifax looked secure but lost skipper Nigel Bowers with a nasty gash to the knee.

A well-struck shot into the top corner gave the hosts a lifeline and a speculative shot was deflected past Lapworth.