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Afc Halifax In Charity Tournament Action

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Afc Halifax, with a Saturday free this weekend after a trip to Matlock for the Fc Halifax boys, woke up on Sunday with a fresh pair of legs and ready to take on the invitation to play in a 5 aside competition over in Huddersfield, The Microlynx Tournament. The tournament is held annually at Soccer City and is put together by a small group of people who raise money for a chosen charity. This years charity was British Heart Foundation, the reason being that one of the guys helping to set up the event was good friends with John Barrett, who sadly and unexpected passed away in October. John is father to Afc Halifax man mountain Alex, and from there we got an invitation to enter a team.

  Captain for the day and chief organiser John Luders, Adam Ramsden, Wrighty, Ben Fawkes, Si Noble and Sam Barnes were the 6 to take up the offer. With Sam Barnes still having trouble with his knee injury from 1993, he was to go in goal and with Si's daughter playing in a game before the tournament, he would miss the first game.

3 groups of 5 teams, top two go through with the two best place 3rd places also going through, 15 minute games. The mission was on, and the message was to just get out of the group and see where that would take us. With the news coming through 1 team in our group had dropped out (unconfirmed reports they were relatives of serial dropper outer Gavin Higgins), Afcs chances improved somewhat. The first tie was against the team who had won the tournament 2 times in the past 3 years, a tough test for Afc, who had at this point not got a sub. We played well, and passed the ball around well however 2 clinical strikes from the opposition, saw Afc Halifax fall to a 2-0 defeat in there first game and it was looking like the squad would be back in Halifax for a 12 oclock roast, 

After welcoming Si back from his daddy duties, Afc now had 6, which meant a sub to give a much needed rest for the lads. If truth be known, Afc could have fielded their junior team and still won this one though, a 9-0 thumping with goals from every member of the squad, Following that was a rivalry between a team donning Huddersfield Town shirts, again Halifax were too strong for them and a 6-0 win took us into the next round as a strong second placed team. 

The quarter finals for Afc Halifax and from here it was anybodys guess what may happen, but even against weaker opposition we played some really good football so confidence was high. The teams lined up and it became clear they would have to wear bibs as we both teams had florescent green tops on! Afc started well, and were soon 2-0 up thanks to goals from Ben Fawkes and John Luders, although Sam did make some good saves in this game, he was beaten and it went 2-1 but Ben Fawkes stepped up and secured the win with a few minutes to go making the final score 3-1 and Afc Halifax went marching on to the Semi Final. 

Afc Halifax had gained some supporters by this point, rumours had started that we were infact ex Halifax players, which i'm not sure is a compliment to us and how we played or a dig at the Fc Halifax team! Si had brought his family along and Alex Barrett, who had been playing for a friends team, who had just been knocked out, was also there to support his team mates.

Into the Semi Finals, as Afc Halifax now had one eye on the prize. A much more physical test for Afc in this one, but a test which Halifax seemed to deal with well. Some fantastic goalkeeping by the opponents goal keeper stopped Ramsden and Luders getting on the scoresheet but it was wave after wave and eventually Adam Ramsden managed to beat the keeper with a low left footed drive. An unusual tactic by the opposition led to them playing one man upfront who never crossed the half way line and relying on there goal keeper to make some more outstanding saves. A tactic that they maybe regretted when Luders managed to also find a way through, 2-0 up. Sam Barnes in goal pulled of some good saves and Wrighty put in a real shift backwards and forwards on the pitch. They did manage to knick one goal, but it was too late and after a few feisty tackles the hooter went and Afc had made it into the final.

Afc Halifax, now feeling the affects of the rest of the games took to the field to set up against a bunch of lads who must have been between the ages of 17 and 21, and we knew we would be in for a tough game. The fans looked to have given up much hope, as Si's family went to the local McDonalds! The game starts and it was quiet even, Afc looking to slow play down and dictate the possession statistics. However there player manged to wiggle past a Halifax shirt and bury it past Barnes' left hand side. 1-0 down in the final and with nothing to lose at this stage Afc pushed on, the Sunday Roast at 12 had long gone and a big push for the next 10 minutes was needed. Halifax tested the keeper on a few occasions and forced him into a couple of decent saves but it was Adam Ramsden who managed to get the goal back from a tight angle. Afc didn't stop there, when Simon Noble smashed the ball in the net to make it 2-1. His family were delighted, they'd just been served there Mcnuggets! With the clock ticking down, the opponents struck back, the speedy young lad took on a few Halifax players, who maybe should have been more cynical, and tooked it away past Barnes in goal. The ref shouts out 3 minutes to go, and this looked like it was going to a penalty shoot-out. Although, Halifax may have taken that as Barnes made some great saves to keep us in the tie. 30 seconds to go is the shout by the ref, and another shot by the opponents goes high over the goal. Barnes picks it up and rolls it to Ben Fawkes, who passes it sideways to Wrighty, who then knocks the ball long to Ramsden who holds it up, he then plays the ball to the other side of the court to Si Noble who takes a touch and smashes it into the bottom corner. It was a delightful team goal, early reports suggest Ant & Dec are wanting to write a song about it. The emotions took over, John Luders was cheering from the side, and Si goes onto his knees and starts fist pumping the air as if he had just won the World Cup. World Cup it was not, but even so, it was a proud moment for Afc Halifax winning the trophy for their cabinet and also in memory of John, Alex's father. 

 

Alex Barrett - 'Shaun Lewis and Nick Doyle did a great job organising the event for a ninth consecutive year. This years chosen charity was the British Heart Foundation, in memory of my dad who sadly passed away in October. It was a very successful day with us all raising over £300 and to cap it off Afc Halifax were crowned champions, quite a fitting tribute for one of our own and was a nice touch for me to able to present the trophy to the lads and be on the squad photo. They all put a great team effort in and thoroughly deserved the win.'

 

One Love - The Shaymen.

 

Edited by Shayman_Rambo
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