August 31, 2014
FC Halifax Town lost their first game of the season 2-1 to Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium, thanks to a late winner from Ellis Harrison. The Pirates grabbed the first goal through Adam Cunnington on 26 minutes and the Shaymen were forced to wait until 61 minutes to grab their equaliser through Scott Boden.
However there was heartbreak for the Shaymen in the 88th minute as Bristol Rovers grabbed the winner through second half substitute Harrison and the Shaymen were unable to make it six wins out of six. There was not much between the two sides in the opening minutes of the game, with neither team having clear chances on goal.
However as the game went on, it was the home side who enjoyed the best chances on goal with the Bristol captain Lee Mansell having a header cleared off the line by Richard Peniket on the 15 minute mark. Jamie White had another chance a few moments later to grab a goal for Rovers, after Dave Martin’s ball into the box find him but he was unable to direct his header successfully and it was easily dealt with by Glennon.
Lois Maynard also had a chance for Halifax to grab the opening goal, after Roberts’ long range pass into the box was played out to Maynard,
who attempted a long range shot outside of the box but it went high over the crossbar. It was then not long to wait until Bristol broke the first half deadlock thanks to Cunnington’s header. Cunnington was able to fight off Marc Roberts in the box and head past Matt Glennon, to grab the first goal for the Pirates, after a cross came into the box from Dave Martin.
As the first half drew to a close, the Shaymen began to grow into the game with Paul Marshall seeing his close range free kick palmed away by Mildenhall. Boden also had a fantastic opportunity to grab the equaliser after James Bolton’s long range pass found the striker in the box, who brought the ball down beautifully with his first touch and managed to beat his defender before finding himself one on one with Mildenhall in the Bristol goal, but Boden was not able to place his shot into the far corner and Bristol survived the scare and Halifax went into the break trailing 1-0.
The Shaymen started the second half lively as they looked to break down the strong Bristol defence. Roberts had a chance from a Marshall corner, but his header was saved by Mildenhall. Marshall then also had a chance himself on the edge of the box but his effort was closed down by the Rovers defence. However the Shaymen did not have to wait long until they got their equaliser goal on 61 minutes, through Boden, who has now scored three goals so far this season.
Marshall dinked the ball over the top of the Bristol Rovers defence and found Boden in the box, who was able to take on his man and volley his effort into the back of the net and grab the equaliser for the Shaymen. As the game pressed on it became more stretched with both sides enjoying possession and having opportunities on goal. Halifax had a corner after Mildenhall failed to control a back pass and instead took the ball out of play,
Boden took the corner short and played the ball to Marshall but he was unable to find a Halifax shirt in the box. Ollie Clarke had a chance to break for Bristol Rovers but Steve Williams was wise to the attack and cut out Bristol’s possession quickly. As the game drew to a close, both teams pressed well but it was the home side who enjoyed the majority of the chances and they grabbed the winner late on through Harrison.
Stuart Sinclair crossed the ball into the Halifax box and Harrison’s initial header on goal was palmed away by Glennon but it was put back into the path of Harrison who was able to slot in the rebound. Halifax were then left with not enough minutes on the clock to search for an equaliser and lose their first game of the season.
Bristol Rovers: Mildenhall, Brown, Lockyer, Parkes, Mansell, Clarke, White (Harrison) , Trotman, Martin (Sinclair), Monkhouse, Cunnington.
Substitutes: Puddy, Leadbitter, Brunt, Harrison, Sinclair.
Goals: Cunnington (26’) Harrison (88’)
Yellow Cards: Monkhouse, Lockyer
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, McManus, M. Roberts, Pearson (Dyer), Marshall, Jackson (K.Roberts), Peniket (Schofield 24’), Williams, Boden, Maynard.
Substitutes: Senior, Ainge, Dyer, K. Roberts, Schofield.
Goals: Boden (61’)
Yellow Cards: Bolton
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Attendance: 5,394 FC Halifax Town fans: 260
Man of the Match: Steve Williams
(Adapted from the FC Halifax Town OS)