Valuable point for Men's 1sts
By Halifax Hockey
An under-strength Halifax produced one of their best performances over the last 12 months to get a well-earned 2-2 draw away at Harrogate.
Missing star man, Michael Jones, manager Matthew Metcalfe called up 4 players from the club’s second XI for the away trip to a place that’s never been a happy hunting ground. However, he was delighted with the response from all his players as they raced into a 2 goal lead within the opening 15 minutes.
The visitors had the better of the first half and took the lead when Casey Marshall, one of the players who was called up from the second team, force home after a goalmouth scramble. Marshall was unstoppable for the majority of the game and Harrogate struggled to contain the influential right winger.
It was Marshall’s strong link up play with Connor Sutcliffe that created all sorts of problems for Harrogate and his run into the opposition circle produced Halifax’s second, with Jake Bamforth scoring after the home keeper had played the ball back to him 10 yards from goal.
Halifax then withheld a barrage of penalty corners at the close of the half, with keeper Matty Breton and centre back Josh Sutcliffe making key stops.
The half time team talk was around keeping composure and retaining possession and the visitors started the second half well, with strong performances in defence from Josh Foreman, David Wheatley and Olly James.
James almost made it three when his deflection from a well-worked Martyn Boyle penalty corner flew narrowly over the bar. He then saw a second corner graze the post shortly after.
That was the sign for the home side to up their performance and a they grabbed two quick goals to draw level with 10 minutes to go. However, Halifax weren’t prepared to settle for the draw and they almost took all three points when debutant, Will Chan, saw his shot blocked by the home ‘keeper.
The game then ended in bizarre circumstances as the umpires appeared to play an additional 3 minutes of time with Harrogate attacking, having initially told the Halifax players there was only 30 seconds remaining on the clock. 2-2 the final result
Halifax take the well earned point into next week with a home game against Sheffield Uni Bankers