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AFC Halifax 'Open Age' WorldNet Report

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Dandies Put Out Table Toppers

AFC Halifax ‘Open Age’ teams WorldNet dreams were ended as they suffered a last 16 defeat to Aberdeen after going a goal up.

Day 1.

AFC Halifax 3-0 Livingston

Goals: Fawkes, A.Probets, M.Probets

AFC Halifax began the day with a squad size of 15 and an early start against familiar opposition in the shape of Livingston. Following the warm up and prep talk by manager Wigglesworth, AFC were ready to take the team from Scotland. AFC showed their intentions early on with A.Probets having an effort cleared of the line. Throughout the first half AFC maintained their dominance over their opponents however they could not turn their dominance into goals and missed numerous amounts of chances. After 15 mins the Half time whistle sounded with the score line 0-0.

AFC knew that in the second half they had to be more clinical otherwise they would be punished, and more clinical they were. Within 5 mins of the second half resuming Livingston played the ball across their back line only for Fawkes to dispossess the centre back on the edge of the area and fire a half volley into the bottom corner to make it 1-0. Minutes later Hamilton played in A.Probets who calmly slid the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper. 2-0. AFC then wasted further chances before being awarded a corner which was swung in and the ball fell to M.Probets 6 yards out who drilled the ball into the roof of the net. 3-0. The game finished 3-0 leaving the AFC lads full of confidence going into the next game.

AFC Halifax 5-2 Airdrie Utd

Goals: A. Holmes, OG, Couchman, Walker, Fawkes

The next challenge that faced the AFC team was the Big Tam/Jonny Bramley Memorial game. Both the Open Age and Vets team combined in the game against AFC’s second Scottish opponents of the day.

AFC had control of the game from the start and quickly took the lead through A.Holmes before an OG doubled the lead and Luke Couchman added a third. Airdrie then launched a rare attacked which resulted in A.Probets bringing down the Airdrie striker and conceding a penalty which Airdrie dispatched making it 3-1 before Airdrie conceded a penalty of their own which N.Walker calmly dispatched before becoming Scottish Nige in the second half.

AFC Made a host of changes at half time and added to their lead when Fawkes added the fourth before Airdrie won their second penalty of the day which Scottish Nige took against Bishop and as before calmly dispatched. The game finished 5-2 meaning AFC reclaim the trophy and Nige Walker win the Man of the Match award.

AFC Halifax 0-2 Man Utd

AFC began their second league match full of confidence from their first league win against Livingston. Their Red Roses opponents managed a 0-0 draw with Stockport.

AFC again began confidently posing a threat in the Manchester final third without causing the United goal keeper any real problems however as the half went on AFC created a few chances but again couldn’t take any of them.

The second half began evenly with both teams putting minimal pressure of the opposing goal keeper before Man Utd took the lead thanks to a moment of madness by Fawkes. The United winger swung the ball which Fawkes tried to shield out of play instead of clearing. The Man Utd forward stole the ball and burst into area with Fawkes pursuing who is a desperate attempt to re-win the ball brought down the United player in the area resulting in a penalty which Man Utd scored to take a 1-0 lead. AFC then pushed for an equaliser and had a goal disallowed for offside before Man Utd broke and added a second giving them an undeserving 2-0 victory leaving AFC to pick up the pieces and re-group for the final group game against Stockport.

AFC Halifax 2-0 Stockport

Goals: A. Holmes, A. Probets

AFC began their final game knowing that a win would guarantee them a top 2 finish and a place in the cup round of WorldNet. With Stockport boasting only 1 point from their first 2 games and 0 goals scored AFC were confident of a positive result.

However, it was Stockport who started more confidently on the ball as AFC seemed to adopt a more root one approach which didn’t seem to offer any positive results. The best chance of the half fell to the Stockport centre forward who got a shot in on goal resulting in Wigglesworth producing a fine save to turn the shot around the post for a corner.

After a half time team talk where the main message was to calm down and play football, AFC seemed to take a tighter grip on the game but struggled to break the deadlock until A.Holmes was put through on goal and carefully slid the ball into the far corner of the goal to make it 1-0. Just minutes later A.Probets burst through on goal and majestically lobbed the ball over the goal keeper to put the result beyond doubt.

With Manchester United and Livingston battling out a 1-1 draw in the final group game it meant AFC had secured top spot and a place in the cup competition on the Sunday.

Final Table:


AFC Halifax..3....2..0...1..5..2..3.....6

Man U..........3....1..2...0..3..1..2.....5



Day 2

After the success of Day 1 AFC were in a buoyant mood going into Day 2 but were handed a blow when 4 players pulled out from the previous day. M. Lamb (Groin), L. Cassalino (Hamstring), M. Lumb (2 Late Nights) and N. Caulfield were all unavailable. Therefore, 2 last minute replacements in the form of C. Billington and T. Higgins stepped in to provide some depth to the AFC Team who faced Aberdeen for a place in the Quarter Finals.

After watching the Vets dominate Brentford only an hour before on the same pitch AFC felt confident as they prepared to face their 3rd Scottish opponents of the weekend who also had finished top of their table without dropping a point. The game began slowly as both team searched for a foot hole however it was the Yorkshire men who took control and launched the first meaningful attack on goal when the ball fell to M. Probets who could only shoot wide. Then a crucial moment in the game as a Wigglesworth clearance sent A.Probets through on goal only to be brought down by the Scottish defender, which resulted in the referee awarding a free kick but no more. With the first half almost over AFC went forward in search of the opening goal and got it. A cross came over from the right which fell for M. Probets who skilfully went past the defender and beat the keeper at the near post. 1-0 at Half-time.

AFC started the second half knowing that another goal would all but kill off any hopes of a comeback from the Scots. The second half struggle to get going with both teams playing some sloppy football and it was hard to see where the next goal was going to come from until AFC earned a corner on the left which was cleared up to the centre forward who set off on a counter attack. As the AFC players desperately tried to get back the ball fell to the left winger on the edge of the area who then fired home the equaliser. A couple of minutes later Aberdeen had their second attack of the game. A cross from the right which took a deflection and fell to the left winger again who despite the best efforts of stand in centre back Hamilton buried the ball in the net to make it 2-1 to Aberdeen. Despite their best efforts to get back into the game AFC could only muster a wayward free kick thus resulting in a 2-1 victory to Aberdeen meaning once again AFC had been foiled in the last 16 of the cup competition.

Wigglesworth and co. will however take many positives from the weekend and will look to bounce back stronger next year. The team would like to thank Dave Holcroft and Salem for allowing them the use of their kit and also to C. Billington and T.Higgins for playing at short notice of the Sunday.

AFC Halifax ‘Open Age’ Team for the Weekend:

C. Wigglesworth, J. Parker, M.Lumb, A. Ramsden, M, Lamb, L. Cassalino, L. Couchman, M. Bishop, S. Hamilton, M.Probets, L.Holmes, A. Holmes, B. Fawkes, N. Caulfield, A. Probets, C. Billington, T. Higgins.

Report by Ben Fawkes.

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