Hanks the hero as Halifax Town out of play-offs

By Jack Simpson

FC Halifax Town’s inconsistent form continued after being beaten by Gloucester City.

Both sides came into the game in good form, with Halifax winning at Bradford Park Avenue and Gloucester drawing against Harrogate.

Gloucester had the first real chance of the match. On four minutes a driving run by striker Luke Thomas saw him make his way to the Halifax 18 yard box. He then took a well-aimed effort at the Shakers’ goal, but his effort was smartly saved by Halifax goalkeeper Sam Johnson, who tipped the effort behind for a corner.

After 12 minutes Halifax nearly found themselves behind, as a mistake from left back Josh Wilde was gobbled up by one of the Gloucester attackers, but the effort was blocked.

Halifax were now starting to get themselves into the game. Striker Tom Denton and his strike partner Danny Clarke were causing the Gloucester defence real problems.

Matty Kosylo then put a great ball into the box, but Charles could only head over from seven yards.

After about 15 minutes, neat play allowed Charles to get himself to the byline to deliver a great cross. The ball found its way to Denton, who could only head straight at Gloucester goalkeeper Jasbir Singh, with the Tigers man eventually claiming it at the second attempt after spilling the initial effort.

A defensive mix-up between Scott Garner and Johnson in the 25th minute nearly gifted Joe Parker the chance to score, but the ball was turned away for a corner.

Gloucester were looking dangerous when Edward Williams picked the ball up in the midfield, making a great run down the middle of the pitch. The Tigers midfielder played it through to Joe Parker, but his effort was straight at Johnson.

Down at the other end, Denton played a great ball to Danny Clarke, who was one on one with keeper Singh. But he made a great save to deny him and it remained scoreless.

With the interval approaching, the game turned into a scrappy affair with not too many chances from either side.

The second half began with Gloucester the better of the two. With just a few minutes gone, winger Joe Hanks played in a terrific free kick. The ball found its way to striker Luke Hooper, who then had a brilliant headed effort tipped over the bar by Johnson.

Halifax were then nearly gifted the lead on 68 minutes when Singh accidentally passed the ball to Jordan Sinnott, but the goalkeeper quicky redeemed himself by blocking the shot.

Sinnott then had a 21 yard free kick that was brilliantly tipped behind by Singh for a corner.

From the resulting corner, Denton meet the ball with his head, but his effort was cleared off the line by Kieran Thomas and out behind for another corner, which came to nothing.

The deadlock was finally broken when Gloucester were awarded a penalty after Johnson brought down substitute Zack Kotwica, following a poor back pass by Matty Brown.

Hanks stepped up and fired the ball into the top right corner with Johnson diving the wrong way.

Johnson made a great save on 84 minutes to deny Thomas after Gloucester broke on the counter attack to keep his side in the game.

Despite Halifax rallying for an equaliser, they couldn’t get the breakthrough, with the final score FC Halifax Town 0-1 Gloucester City.

Halifax play Gainsborough Trinity at the Shay Stadium, while Gloucester face Alfreton Town at home in their next game.

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