Weakened Halifax battle in vain at coast

Scarborough 2

Halifax 0

With several regular first teamers missing, it was always going to be a big ask to go to promotion chasing Scarborough and get something.

The players drafted in from the seconds did well but Halifax were up against it from early on when a nasty eye injury to player coach Paul Graham took the team down to the bare 11.

Shortly afterwards, star youngster Matthew Bairstow injured a foot and had to limp through the rest of the Yorkshire Two contest.

Halifax held out well until just before half time when Scarborough took the lead.

Matthew Metcalfe was in good form in the Halifax goal and with Ryan Dransfield, Cameron Hellowell and Richard Marshall working tirelessly, Scarborough were contained but always dangerous.

Michael Jones and Josh Sutcliffe created a few chances on the counter but failed to find a telling pass or shot.

Leigh Walker was pushing forward to help the attack, as was Peter Balmforth, but gaps were being left at the back and it was no surprise when Scarborough scored a second which killed the game.

Halifax still managed to win a few penalty corners but it was not to be and the team will be hoping that the return of injured players will help away to a strong Leeds team tomorrow.

Halifax II 0

Sheffield Hallam V 0

Scoreless draws are sometimes drab affairs but this game was far from boring or uneventful with both teams showed high levels of skill.

First team unavailability robbed the unbeaten seconds of four players. Bolstered by the returning Luke Greenwood, Halifax also had Kristian Mayland strengthening the attack. Both were influential.

Paul Mayes had recovered from a broken hand and played alongside teenage debutant Matthew Ward in midfield while defender Stephen Fawkes turned out with a broken finger.

Hallam played with confidence and authority from the off but the home defenders were disciplined, focused and marked tightly. When the line was breached James Smith smothered, blocked and kicked with aplomb.

The home side turned round having created more chances in open play through the cleverness of John Horsley, the cunning of Mayland and the astute probing of Greenwood.

As the match progressed fatigue affected Halifax’s performance. Mayes suffered from cramp and Ward also tired. Without a recognised substitute the home side had to hang on with Graham Rodgers, Nick Barker and Bryn Hans to the fore.

Near the end the visitors claimed that keeper Smith had tickled the ball with his pads as the ball was hit into the D. Neither umpire could confirm the claim and the home side held out for a hard earned point.

Horsforth I 1

Halifax II 3

Halifax continued their fantastic season with another away win.

They started with 10 players but it didn’t prevent Claire Waldron scoring for them in the first five minutes.

There was some great passing from the visitors and it wasn’t long before the midfield of Margaret Bottomley, Ruth Prosser, Adele Cocker and Ellen Campsall got the ball through to Waldron, who scored her second.

The home side managed to claw a goal back just before the half time whistle.

Halifax squandered some golden chances to move out of sight.

However, Waldron managed to complete a hat-trick and Halifax continue to sit comfortably at the top of Yorkshire Two.

Other matches involving Halifax Ladies were postponed either because of frosty pitches or thick fog.