Story of the night: FC Halifax Town 1-1 Hartlepool United –Pools frustrated by 10 man Shaymen as wait for an away win continues
At the fourth time of asking, Hartlepool United finally played Halifax Town at The Shay with the match ending 1-1.
Goals at either end of the game from Mark Shelton and Halifax’s Kieran Green as well as a late red card for Danny Williams saw the spoils shared.
It’s exactly two months since the originally scheduled National League fixture was postponed due to a frozen pitch. We’ve seen two further postponements since then, including one after Hartlepool had already arrived at the ground.
Despite a slight fog in the air, chilly temperatures in West Yorkshire and a slight floodlight issue prior to kick-off, the match went ahead.
Dave Challinor made three changes from Saturday’s 1-0 win over Barnet. Nicky Featherstone made his return from a knee injury in place of Tom White while Luke Molyneux replaced Rhys Oates up front.
Timi Odusina also returned to the starting line-up in place of the injured Ryan Johnson.
With the game finally under way, Pools created the first chance as in form striker Luke Armstrong tested Shaymen goalkeeper Sam Johnson with a tight-angled effort after five minutes.
Jamie Allen skimmed an effort past the post for Halifax at the other end shortly before Pools found the early breakthrough. A short corner finally fell to Shelton whose first time effort found the left corner of the goal from 15-yards with just 12-minutes on the clock.
A great strike which saw the midfielder open his account for the season.
Shelton almost grabbed his and Hartlepool’s second inside the opening 20-minutes but his 30-yard free-kick effort sailed narrowly wide.
As the half wore on, The Shaymen grew into the game more and started to pose a real threat. Jack Earing’s 20-yard effort beat Ben Killip before ricocheting off the right post and being heroically cleared by Lewis Cass before a Halifax player could pounce.
Tom Bradbury glanced just wide of the Pools goal from a corner in first half stoppage time but Hartlepool were able to hang on to their lead going in at the break.
The second goal is usually crucial and Hartlepool came so close to finding it shortly after the restart. A fine through ball from Molyneux found David Ferguson whose pull back to Armstrong looked destined to find the bottom left corner only for Johnson to pull off an acrobatic save to tip the striker’s effort onto the post.
Following an extended period without any clear-cut chances, Armstrong came close yet again as he received Cass’ pass and line-up his shot before blasting wide of the left post with just over 15-minutes to play.
Moments later, Halifax punished the missed opportunities as former Pools midfielder Kieran Green headed the hosts level from Jeff King’s free-kick.
As full-time approached, Halifax were reduced to 10 men as substitute Danny Williams brought down Armstrong right on the edge of the area. With the Pools striker clean through on goal, the referee had little choice but to show a straight red card.
Tom Crawford had a chance to snatch victory for Pools at the end but failed to take it as the match ended 1-1.
The result sees Pools stay third in the National League as they look ahead to Saturday’s match against leaders Torquay United.