7.45pm Tuesday 25th October 2016
Vanarama National League North
The Shay Stadium, Shay Syke, Halifax, W. Yorkshire, HX1 2YS
|FC Halifax Town ||3 - 1||FC United of Manchester|
|Denton 10, 19|
| ||Thomson 72|
|FC Halifax Town|
1 Steven Drench
2 Kevin Roberts
3 Josh Wilde
4 Liam King (capt)
5 Nathan Hotte
6 Scott Garner
7 Josh MacDonald
8 David Lynch
9 Tom Denton
10 Jordan Sinnott
11 Alex Simmons
14 Richard Peniket (for 9, 77 mins)
16 Jake Hibbs (for 10, 68 mins)
|FC United of Manchester|
1 David Carnell
2 Dale Tonge
3 Chris Chantler
4 Scott Kay
5 Tom Eckersley
6 Luke Ashworth
7 Matthew Wolfenden
8 Thomas Brown
9 Tom Greaves (capt)
10 George Thomson
11 Jake Williams
12 Jerome Wright (for 7, 79 mins)
15 Harry Winter (for 11, 45 mins)
17 Sam Sheridan (for 8, 64 mins)
FC United were soundly beaten 3-1 at fourth place Halifax Town on Tuesday night in front of 1,938 supporters at The Shay.
The Reds were 3-0 down at halftime and despite a valiant attempt, including a sweetly struck goal from George Thomson, there was no miracle comeback in the second half.
It was by no means a poor performance from the visitors but they were picked apart twice in the opening 20 minutes by a ruthless Halifax attack and it was long way back from there.
Six foot seven man mountain Tom Denton got the first two goals for The Shaymen from close range before Jordan Sinnott scored the third a minute before halftime.
Karl Marginson’s side rallied in the second half and almost made a game of it but by then the hosts had eased off, content in the knowledge that they had won the contest in the first 45 minutes.
With Halifax on a run of six successive victories and eager to bounce straight back into the Vanarama National League Premier Division at the first attempt, it was always going to be a tough evening for the Reds.
And so it proved. Goalkeeper David Carnell made two good early stops from Alex Simmons but he was powerless to prevent Denton heading home the opening goal just 10 minutes in.
United were under the cosh. Moments after going a goal down, Carnell had to make another save as his defence failed to clear their lines. David Lynch was allowed a free shot from six yards out but Carnell successfully blocked the attempt.
Despite being a goal down, the Reds were knocking the ball around well, when they had it, probing for an equaliser. The closest they came was on 16 minutes when Thomson played a smart one-two with Scott Kay on the edge of the area before flashing the ball wide.
The glimmer of hope was short lived because three minutes later, Halifax had the ball in the back of the net again with Denton sliding home Josh MacDonald’s cross from the right at the near post.
Halifax were looking comfortable and FC United were desperately trying to stay in the contest. With 32 minutes on the clock, Carnell made another save from close range, this time denying Sinnott.
But he could do nothing about Sinnott’s next effort 12 minutes later. Fullback Josh Wilde was played in down the left and got to the goal line before cutting back for Sinnott, who fired home first time into the bottom corner.
If the match was boxing and not football, the referee might have considered stopping the contest there and then, such was Halifax’s dominance. But United came out fighting in the second half and made a fist of it.
First Tom Brown hooked a scrambled effort wide before Matthew Wolfenden finally tested goalkeeper Steven Drench with a drive from the edge of the box after playing a one-two with Tom Greaves. Substitute Sam Sheridan then made Drench work again with a first time shot from 25 yards.
If Halifax wanted a clean sheet as well as the three points, they had eased off a little bit too much. United were in the ascendancy and eventually, with 18 minutes to go, they got their reward. Dale Tonge’s cross from the right was met by Thomson, who saw his initial effort blocked by a defender before firing into the bottom right corner at the second attempt from the edge of the penalty area.
Inevitably, this sparked the Shaymen back into life. Almost immediately, Carnell had to be alert to deny Denton from bagging his hat-trick by smothering a close range header. It was end-to-end stuff for the final few minutes and United nearly snatched a second when Jerome Wright jinked his way through the home defence but fired high and wide from a tight angle.
That was the last action of the game. It was a fair result and scoreline. FC United were beaten by quality opponents, who will be expecting to challenge for the title. There can be no complaints. However, if the Reds are going to be more competitive at this level, they must find a way to avoid leaving their goal so easily exposed, especially in the opening stages of matches.
Website man of the match: George Thomson - drove the Reds forward when we were trailing and did his best to get us back into the match.
Report by Matthew Haley