FC Halifax Town 2 Solihull Moors 0
By Luke Turner
Ten Men Moors Fall to the Shaymen ...............writes John Clothier
A sunny day greeted Moors for their second visit to West Yorkshire this season to again battle with the “Shaymen” – our matches against Halifax are always tight and there had never , until this match, been more than a one goal difference in the score . Solihull were still without the suspended Jamey Osborne but otherwise were at full strength.
The visitors made a good start forcing an early corner although Sam Johnson in goal for Halifax was more than equal to Darren Carters curling cross. Danny Wright swivelled and shot from close range but the shot was blocked amidst a half-hearted penalty shout.
What was clear from the outset was that Referee Sam Purkiss would not hesitate to penalise anybody for foul play and Liam Daly was in the book after just 4 minutes for bringing down Matty Kosylo. Devante Rodney, however, was wide with the ensuing free kick having cleared the Moors wall.
Moors could have taken the lead moments later when Terry Hawkridge crossed to George Carline who headed towards the top of the far corner of the nest but was denied by a finger tip save by Johnson which was nothing short of brilliant. Alex Gudger went wide from close range after a knock down from Nathan Blissett, whilst two consecutive long Carline throws went begging in the box.
On 8 minutes we had the first reminder that Halifax were dangerous on the break as Rodney charged down the right flank but a decent effort from Berrett was cleared by Lee Vaughan from six yards. Kyle Storer almost put Moors in front after Carline was fouled 35 yards out and seeing Johnson off his line launched a screamer which was tipped over the crossbar. On 13 minutes Kosylo, always dangerous, picked up a loose ball from Storer, drifted by two Solihull defenders but the shot was just wide.
As Moors continued to pressure they were caught on the break and after 14 minutes found themselves one goal down; Manny Duku beat the offside trap and with just Ryan Boot in front of him smashed the ball into the near side corner of the net from 15 yards. 1 – 0.
The Shaymen had another chance when the impressive Rodney saw his strike deflected for a corner. After Moors impressive start the tide had turned and Halifax’s confidence was plain to see.
On 20 minutes Carline got on the end of Blissett’s header and screwed the ball back to the waiting Carter but the shot was well wide. Gudger was then next into the Referee’s book for clattering Rodney just inside his own half – Duku and Rodney combined well from the free kick before Gudger redeemed himself as he headed the ball to safety.
On the half hour Blissett pirouetted and shot in one movement but it was off target from within the six-yard area. Jamie Reckord fizzed in a super pass to Carline but Captain Matty Brown was well placed to block the shot from close range.
It was now end to end play with the Moors defence having problems with the pace of both Rodney and Duku who hit the side netting on 32 minutes. Terry Hawkridge’s cross opened up the Halifax defence but there was nobody there to take advantage.
Play was halted for 3 minutes after James Berrett accidentally collided with the referee who needed help from the home physio before he could continue.
With 3 minutes of normal time remaining there was some hesitancy as Rodney yet again charged down the right wing - Boot rushed out to quell the danger but quickly had to back foot before the ball was cleared for a corner. Brown out jumped the Moors defence but headed over, Duke then replicated the situation as he swept passed Lee Vaughan down the left flank but the ball was deflected for a corner. Carline put Wright through into the six-yard box but the shot lacked pace.
Then in the last of 3 minutes added time Vaughan looked to have gone in on Kosylo with his foot up and Mr Purkiss red carded the Moors defender for dangerous play.
And so, Moors ended the half one goal down and with 10 men – it looked like a mountain to climb!
George Carline filled the right back void as Halifax started the second half confidently. Duku seized on a long ball out of defence and fouled Boot as the Moors keeper quelled the danger. Berrett then put Duku through for a one on one but was clearly off side. Carline crossed to Blissett but he hooked his shot straight into the arms of Johnson
Tim Flowers decided to ring the changes on the hour with Jermaine Hylton replacing Danny Wright.
However, the more Solihull attacked so the possibility of being hit on the break increased - Duku fired over on a one on one, Kosylo was blocked by Gudger, whilst Boot did well to foil Berrett from close range.
Duku was substituted on 69 minutes when he appeared to pull a muscle as Moors enjoyed their best period of the game. Reckord put a beautifully weighted cross in to Gudger but the header cleared the bar, Hylton was thwarted by Johnson as he combined well with Hawkridge whilst on 75 minutes Carter had a good chance as he connected with Hawkridge’s cross but could not get any power in the header. Hylton dribbled beyond three defenders but the shot was off target.
Adi Yussuf replaced Reckord but the game was effectively put to bed when Halifax broke from defence on 82 minutes with a long ball up to Rodney which defied Storer’s best efforts to get a foot on it and presented the Shayman with just Ryan Boot in front of him – he coolly slotted the ball home for number two. 2 – 0.
Tyrone Williams was a late sub for Hawkridge as Moors tried to salvage something from the game. Carter curled a free kick around the wall but Johnson was ready and the resulting corner was plucked from the air by the Halifax shot stopper. Blissett was a whisker away in the first of 4 minutes added time whilst Storer’s 30 yarder went wide
It ended 2 -0 - a result of the break- aways but Halifax were worthy of their victory. Moors had enough chances, particularly early on, but their finishing in the box needed to be more clinical.
With Orient and Fylde in FA Trophy semi final action (they both went through) Salford were held by Barnet, Harrogate drew at Barrow and Wrexham went down at Hartlepool. Moors stay second in the league but Orient now have a two-game cushion and there are just 6 points separating the five teams below the league leaders. Eastleigh occupy the last of the play off positions.
Moors need to regroup quickly for Tuesday nights visit to Boreham Wood whilst at the ATG Stadium next Saturday they entertain a resurgent Dover Athletic
Supporters Man of the Match George Carline
Boot, Reckord, (Yussuf), Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Carter, Carline, Blissett, Wright (Hylton), Hawkridge (Williams), Vaughan. Subs not used Maxwell, Stenson
Attendance 1563 (138)
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King