Halifax men’s firsts got their first win of the season, at the sixth attempt, with a solid performance in a 3-2 win away to the Premier Division’s bottom side Sheffield Uni Bankers.
After a disappointing start to the season, Halifax’s performance yielded the result it deserved and supplemented the point previously gained in a division that is already looking very tight.
Playing with three up front, strikers Michael Jones, Elliott Bullick and Josh Barron got the team off to a bright start, using the ball well in the Sheffield half.
Halifax went ahead when Barron’s volleyed effort flew into the net, following some good work from Olly James and Jones.
This set the pattern of play and Halifax dominated but couldn’t find a second and were frustrated at not being further clear at the interval.
After half-time James helped put more pressure on Sheffield with a smart finish when the original penalty corner routine broke down.
However, the good work was undone when the home side forced home from a goalmouth scramble to halve the deficit immediately after.
The away side’s two-goal lead was restored midway through the half when man of the match James capped off a great individual performance with another excellent piece of work to release Jones.
In a move similar to the first goal, Jones sent an aerial ball to Casey Marshall and as the keeper came rushing out his deft first time touch sent the ball into the empty net.
Despite pulling another goal back, Sheffield didn’t have enough to take something from the game and Halifax closed the half out with some assured defending.
Buoyed by the result, Halifax take on newly-promoted Rotherham at Park Lane on Saturday with hopes of back-to-back wins.
Meanwhile, A brace of goals from Lauren Vials inspired Halifax Ladies firsts to a 4-3 victory over Rotherham Ladies firsts last weekend.
Halifax got off to a good start when a great through ball from Michaela Holroyde found Emma Crawford who scored with a well-struck undercut shot into the roof of the net.
Halifax extended their lead after some fantastic link up play between Lydia Presley, Katie Love and Emma Crawford resulted in setting up Lauren Vials. Her reserve stick shot had the the Rotherham goalkeeper well and truly beaten.
Rotherham pulled a goal back, with some poor marking leaving goalkeeper Cassie Barker with no chance. After half time Halifax restored their two-goal cushion when Lauren Vials grabbed her second.
Following some good play from Leah Kalter, Helen Boughton and Lydia Presley, Halifax won a short corner.
Dani Parker took the strike from the top of the circle and Kate Walsh was rewarded for her hard work as her shot found the top corner to beat the Rotherham keeper and give Halifax a three-goal advantage.
Rotherham grabbed two late goals thanks to some sloppy defending from Halifax.
The result was in doubt for a few moments, after a dominant performance from Halifax. But they saw out an anxious few minutes to hold on for a 4-3 win.
For more hockey reports, pick up a copy of today's Halifax Courier.