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Match Report - Afc Halifax Vs Rochdale

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Afc Halifax Vs Rochdale



Afc Halifax went into this game in good spirit, having picked up some decent results already this season. Up next was an entirely different challenge though, a Rochdale outfit dubbed ‘the best team in the diversion’, and a team Halifax have never done well against, infact, they have lost every time they have played them.

   Afc had a strong outfit available, although it took a blow early on when John Luders bottled it and blamed sleeping in on the no show, on the scale of excuses we’ve had this season, it was a poor one. Kev Dawson back from a 5 year absence was a welcome addition though. Even with Afc having a decent selection to pick from, they had no ‘proper’ goalkeeper, it would be Joe who would go in goal for the first half, and he did very well early on with some good saves. However, he was to be beaten when a poor Gav Higgins clearance only fell at the feet of a Rochdale man, who smashed it past Joe. But it was to be Halifax, half way through the half with some really good football from the attacking players, managed to get back into the game. A lovely through ball from Ben Fawkes led to Ryan going through on goal and he finished well to the keepers left.

   Going into half time at 1-1, John Barker was full of praise for his troops; they had worked hard and put themselves in a good position but warned that it didn’t stand for much if we didn’t get a positive result at the end of it.

  The second half started and Halifax started brightly. Heaton, who was now doing the 2nd half in goal, went through a spell of not much to do. It was all Halifax and they put together some good moves but no clear chances. Adam Gray used his pace well to get into good positions and Captain Ramsden and Kev Dawson worked well up front and didn’t give the defenders a moments rest. It would be from a typical Afc weapon that would put Halifax in the lead. A long throw caused mayhem in the Rochdale box before landing kindly at the feet of Ben Fawkes who had a simple finish. Could this be the game Afc Halifax finally manage to beat Rochdale? Well, Rochdale being Rochdale came back into it and even though Halifax made themselves a good defensive unit, they managed to find a goal. A mazey run by the Rochdale winger cut inside, and perhaps with a touch of luck the ball ricocheted off Higgins shin and into the winger’s path who placed it past Heaton in goal.

  Halifax carried on, still a constant threat, particularly from the right hand side, and it was to be a long throw that put them back in front. A carbon copy of the 2nd goal, only this time it fell to Kev Dawson who smashed the ball in from close distance. But then a heated moment between the Rochdale centre midfielder and Adam Gray, would potentially change the game, meaning both players would be sent off (but could be substituted off). With this Halifax tried to close the game off, Heaton taking an age with his goal kicks helped, Ramsden upfront holding the ball up and winning free kicks helped and the team as a whole defending amazingly well all helped but Rochdale managed to make it 3-3 with 15 minutes to go. The ball cleared by a Halifax defender landed at the edge of the box and the Rochdale man took a touch and hit the ball into the bottom corner, and in off the post. Heartbreak for Halifax. Adam Probets who had defended well, limped off with a hamstring injury and it looked like it could be a long 15 minutes. But then a long ball upfront was contested between Ryan and the Rochdale defender, Ryan managed to poke the ball across to Ramsden who was lurking on the edge of the area, he took his time, composed himself and drilled the ball into the bottom right hand corner and past the hapless goalkeeper. A goal from nowhere meant the lads found that extra 10% they needed and with some proper grit and determination managed to see the game out and win it 4-3. Man of the Match, Ramsden’s goal the decider in what was a typical gutsy Halifax performance.

 For the first time in 11 years, Halifax won Rochdale. Every single player played out of their skin and Gaffer John Barker was clearly brimming with pride by the final whistle. Onto West Ham away next week!


Final Score - Afc Halifax 4 – 3 Rochdale

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