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Posted by: Chrisblor, September 16, 2014, 10:24pm
Town started off brightly. We attacked straight from kick off and won an early corner after what looked like a deflected shot which just went inches past the upright. Halifax cleared their lines and we gave the ball away cheaply on the right which allowed one of their players to run at Doig on the edge of the area. Doig hacked him down and they curled the resulting free kick past McKeown.

Our heads went down for a few minutes and Halifax started to impose themselves as Hannah was struggling to retain possession alone up front. About ten mins after their opener, Neilson picked the ball up in midfield and drove at the centre of their defence. He beat two players and smashed in an excellent finish across the keeper which went in off the post.

After the goal we dominated the rest of the half. Disley was doing well winning headers, and the work rate from the other midfield and forward players was exceptional. I lost count of the number of tackles and interceptions Craig Clay put in. Neilson was a constant menace and Halifax didn't have an answer to his dribbling. Just before half time McKeown made an excellent save from a corner just tipping a header around the post. Unfortunately we couldn't get the second goal our play deserved and the Town players were applauded off at the interval.

Second half and Halifax started playing like Rory Delap era Stoke City. Their defenders continually hoofed the ball up field in an effort to win corners deep in our half so they could launch in long throws. We dealt with this very well throughout the game and it was ugly to watch. If that's how Halifax normally play it's no wonder there were only a few hundred home fans there. Pearson, Doig and especially Magnay (who was up against a tricky pacy winger) were very solid, however Toto looked a bit dodgy at times at right back.

Midway through the half we started getting the ball on the deck and putting their defenders under pressure. All our play was coming through Neilson who was excellent. In the second half he played Hannah through the middle who could only kick it into the keeper's hands - in fairness he had defenders on his back and it wasn't the easiest chance. Soon after Neilson played Mackreth clean through on the right and he really should have buried it. Instead he shot low and made it easy for their keeper to save.

Late on Pearson had a looping header cleared off the line and the badly tiring Disley (who was poor in the second half IMO) put a diving header just over the crossbar. We had a few scares from corners and long throws near the end but held on for a well deserved point.

Really the game emphasised our need for a goalscorer. We created good chances but the only player who looks capable of scoring is Neilson. Halifax were very physical and if we'd had a fit LJL to contend with their physical centre halves I think we would have taken all three points. Hannah tried very hard but was very ineffective unfortunately. We looked very good passing the ball on the floor and Hurst certainly needs to realise that's our best tactic instead of hoof ball to LJL's head.
Posted by: TownSNAFU5, September 16, 2014, 10:43pm; Reply: 1
Thanks for that.  Appreciate the time taken.
Posted by: horsforthmariner, September 16, 2014, 10:59pm; Reply: 2
Just back home, went with my workmate who is a Halifax fan, so was stood in the Halifax end which was interesting. Thought 1-1 was a fair result, we were better in the first half and they were on top in the second.

Macca got his positioning all wrong for their goal but made a few good saves to redeem himself. Defensively thought Pearson and Magnay had good games but Doig and particularly Toto looked shaky. Toto simply isn't a full back but I suppose without Aswad were just going to have to make do.

Our midfield was very good Brown and Clay caused Halifax no end of problems and to be fair Disley played pretty well. We were so effective in Midfield that Halifax's tactics in the second half were to bypass them by hoofing it. Mackraith still looks to lightweight but was better than I've seen him.

Uptop Neilson was absolute class, whenever he was on the ball we looked dangerous. In contrast Hannah looked ineffective. I like Ross as he works really hard and he is clinical if it's on a plate. But he's not that talented and doesn't create much for himself or others. If we are going to go up we are going we need to bite the bullet and get a decent striker.

A few points, we were a very small side apart from defensively which caused problems when Macca was kicking as they won every ball, this is where we do miss Lenny.

Halifax are not anything special - there number 7 was their best player but nothing really frightening.
Brown has to be careful - he could have been sent off for kicking out.
Overall a pretty good performance  but lets not get carried away we aren't world beaters.
Posted by: gobby, September 16, 2014, 11:51pm; Reply: 3
Two good posts above, all I can add is I hold my hands up on Clay, I thought he was awful pre season but tonight he was excellent. Man of the Match in my opinion. Hard earned point and still a lot of hard work ahead 8)
UTMM
Posted by: Chrisblor, September 16, 2014, 11:55pm; Reply: 4
Consensus on the Halifax forum seems to be that they're all happy with a point after our first half performance. Shame we struggle to capitalise when we're on top of games.
Posted by: arryarryarry, September 17, 2014, 12:00am; Reply: 5
We started off OK but then Toto made a woeful back pass to McKeown that led him to make a poor clearance that ended up back with Halifax who then forced a free kick just outside the area although I disagree that Doig hacked him down, looked like a dive to me. A great free kick put them one up.

We then got into the game with Nielsen running the show, they couldn't handle him and another very good goal from him, he was unlucky not to make it two nil, as was Hannah.

We should have gone in at half-time at least one goal up.

Second half they were much better, closing us down and not giving any space for us to create anything, Brown, Hannah and Mackreth just disappeared from the game. In the end we were hanging on and a point apiece was just about right.

I think credit to all the players, but Toto must never be played at right back in a back four again, he was a disaster waiting to happen and it was his dreadful pass that led to their goal.
Posted by: arryarryarry, September 17, 2014, 12:01am; Reply: 6
Quoted from gobby
Two good posts above, all I can add is I hold my hands up on Clay, I thought he was awful pre season but tonight he was excellent. Man of the Match in my opinion. Hard earned point and still a lot of hard work ahead 8)
UTMM


I thought he gave the ball away too much tonight, MOTM must go to Nielsen for his first half performance and goal.
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 17, 2014, 12:06am; Reply: 7
Good write-ups gents. Understand the point about having a big unit like Lennie up front, but would we really have been so effective lumping it up to him, as opposed to the tactic which sound effective, of playing it through on the ground?
Posted by: Mariner Ronnie, September 17, 2014, 12:24am; Reply: 8
Quoted from arryarryarry


I thought he gave the ball away too much tonight, MOTM must go to Nielsen for his first half performance and goal.


Neilson edges it for me, though clay needs a bit of a mention with magnay, absolutely prolific you must admit.
Posted by: Chrisblor, September 17, 2014, 12:29am; Reply: 9
Quoted from KingstonMariner
Good write-ups gents. Understand the point about having a big unit like Lennie up front, but would we really have been so effective lumping it up to him, as opposed to the tactic which sound effective, of playing it through on the ground?


Sorry I didn't explain very well. Hannah struggled to hold the ball up even when played into his feet because of how physical their defenders were. If we'd adopted the same passing tactics but with LJL up front who is more effective at holding the ball up I think we'd have had more chance of winning. We have to play the same way with John Lewis up front rather than resorting to punting it up onto his head from the back.
Posted by: Theimperialcoroner, September 17, 2014, 12:33am; Reply: 10
Nielson was the best player on the pitch by a mile. Honourable mentions to most of the others too though, especially Disley, who won far more than his fair share of headers against the Halifax meatheads. Also a word for their no. 15 who must've fouled Neilson close on 10 times, but got nothing for it from a very average ref. Halifax are an atrocious team who sum up for me every reason why we need to be out of this league. Hoooooooofffffff!!!
Posted by: KingstonMariner, September 17, 2014, 12:33am; Reply: 11
Thanks Chris. Good explanation. That would work, Lennie in the sort of Livvo role. But we seem to resort to type more when he's playing - don't know if that's the instruction or the players.
Posted by: nickmariners, September 17, 2014, 12:45am; Reply: 12
That was a hugely entertaining game:  my mates and I thought Town's performance was very good, rather than just pretty good - away from home and against a team who have started the season well.

Town were quick to get the ball from midfield into attack, with smart one-twos, and quick turns to confound the man-on.  I think they're great to watch when they move the ball around confidently like this.  Also, tonight their hard-working attitude was apparent - going for every loose ball, pressing Halifax all over the pitch, defending (mostly) as a unit -- as well as showing the comfort on the ball that you see from pretty much all of the players - taking time, looking up, trying to find a stripey shirt.

Terrific Town goal, great travelling support - nice ground, and Halifax is a decent town.  UTM
Posted by: FishOutOfWater, September 17, 2014, 12:48am; Reply: 13
Quoted from nickmariners
That was a hugely entertaining game:  my mates and I thought Town's performance was very good, rather than just pretty good - away from home and against a team who have started the season well.

Town were quick to get the ball from midfield into attack, with smart one-twos, and quick turns to confound the man-on.  I think they're great to watch when they move the ball around confidently like this.  Also, tonight their hard-working attitude was apparent - going for every loose ball, pressing Halifax all over the pitch, defending (mostly) as a unit -- as well as showing the comfort on the ball that you see from pretty much all of the players - taking time, looking up, trying to find a stripey shirt.

Terrific Town goal, great travelling support - nice ground, and Halifax is a decent town.  UTM


Be careful posting such positive comments...might not go down too well with some!  ;)
Posted by: A.l.f., September 17, 2014, 7:06am; Reply: 14
Yes I agree with most posters.  As one of the 456? Away fans I too thought it was an entertaining match.
Apart from the free kick for the goal and one header from a corner we didn't give Halifax a look in first half and played some lovely pass and move football.
Brown , Clay and Disley controlled the midfield for much of the game and Nielson was fantastic.  Jack the lad too looked a threat and a shame his effort near the end was straight at the keeper.
Fair play to Our Manager who picked the right side and line up and it was clear at the end that players and Manager are in this together.
We kept the ball on the floor and had the better chances and were unlucky not to win.  With the Lincoln and Torquay games we lost as we didn't take our chances and made defensive errors.  Last night it was more a case of being a bit unlucky especially the clearance off the line near the end.
Torquay looked a good side first half at BP but Halifax were a hoof side and play the percentage game by putting the ball in the danger area as often as they can.
To all those doom merchants - stay with the team as it's a marathon not a sprint and I from what I've seen, given the injury setbacks, Town are good enough and will be up there come the end of the season.
Posted by: barralad, September 17, 2014, 8:56am; Reply: 15
Well I really enjoyed that!

Town gave it a really good go after going behind. From where we were sat McKeown's positioning for their free kick goal looked to be way off the mark.
Couldn't fault any aspect of the teams performance.
Clay was immense. The timing on his tackles was superb.

My MOM though was Magnay who covered so much ground as to defy the laws of physics. He was still powering forward in the last five minutes having previously nearly scored with a longish range effort that he couldn't get quite enough curl on.

Hannah tried very hard especially as leading the line as a lone striker isn't really his game. He could have had a goal from a sublime ball from Neilson but seemed to get caught in two minds and ended up scooping it into a very grateful keepers arms.

Great support from the Town faithful in a ground that looked a hell of a lot better than I remember it!!
Posted by: Jarmo.Is.God, September 17, 2014, 9:13am; Reply: 16
Money well spent last night, good entertaining game by 1 hoofball team and one footballing team.

The free-kick was unstoppable, unable to blame Macca although every keeper will say they should of saved it, but it was a brilliant free-kick.

Neilson is 1, maybe 2 leagues below where he should be playing, although sometimes gets carried away, he is the best player i have seen in a town shirt for a very very long time.

Special mention to Doig, spends most of the training sessions coaching, but when called upon, despite looking dodgy/shaky at times, he is a good professional and a great leader

disappointed in Disley again, too many times lost the ball needlessly, but what he did do, was actually win a few headers in the middle.

Brown had an unusually quiet game, although made no mistakes.

Clay was fantastic, credit to Hurst on this one, i couldn't find any town fans happy with his signing when it was made, but i bet i will struggle to find anyone unhappy about it now, breaks up opponents attacks all the time and seems to run forever.

Magnay is solid, and struggling to find a reason why Gateshead released him ? he is a great signing, and even when town are playing bad, like against Torquay, he still has an impressive game.

last one, Fair play to Hannah, run his socks off, closed down there defenders and goalkeeper and made them into a really poor footballing side that just hoof to Boden and hope the midfielders get on the ball.

should for some reason, Hurst eventually get sacked, i wouldn't want Aspin anyway near BP if they are the tactics week in week out.

also to Hurst, with a small side to choice from through injury, he picked a great team with many said was a defensive team, Neilson was given the freedom that ultimately made us the better team  
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