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Afc Halifax 5 Ipswich Town Supporters 1, 23 February 2013.

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AFC Halifax 5 Ipswich Town Supporters 1.

On Saturday, AFC Halifax took on the Tractorboys from
Ipswich in a mouth-watering IFA League clash. Ipswich’s blue and white kit had
this scribe finding himself harking back to the days of Trevor Whymark, Clive
Woods, Paul Mariner and John Wark, but sadly, though tall in stature, the
visitors were short on ideas, and AFC cruised to victory without ever really needing
to shift too many gears, or perhaps not being able to find them.

Playing an unusual and often demanding 3-5-2 (wingback)
system which asked much of Chris Boow and Adam Robinson, AFC clearly were the
better side but for all their huffing and puffing, they failed to carve out any
decent early openings, with the final ball often found wonting. Ipswich, in
fact, came closest to breaking the deadlock twenty minutes in when they found
acres of space down the left, but the forward failed to capitalise, and AFC
skipper Adam Ramsden rescued the situation with a text-book crunching tackle.

Rambo had one of his finest games for AFC, and it was he
who supplied the delivery from which the home side took the lead. Simplicity in
itself; a free-kick near halfway which plopped onto the head of Andy Hemblys
and into the net with the Ipswich keeper grasping thin air (the only thing he
actually caught all morning, if the truth be told). Five minutes later AFC
doubled their lead from a well-worked corner, awarded when the Ipswich
centre-back went walkabouts, failing to distinguish between the deadball line
(which he crossed with ball) and the rugby try-line two yards beyond (an easy
mistake to make, tbh). His disbelief at giving away such a needless corner was
matched only by the rest of his team mates when Robinson’s inswinging flag-kick
was headed home by an unmarked Hemblys, his second goal of the day.   

Ipswich responded with a rally of sorts and halved the deficit

with a well taken goal, though the purists might have taken task with
goalkeeper Chris Wigglesworth, who elected to kick clear instead of actually
picking up the ball when under little or no pressure, and referee Les Casalino,
who allowed Ipswich to play on despite a clear handball as Ipswich managed to
keep alive Wiggy’s kick. Credit where credit’s due, though, and the goal was
well worth a ripple of applause, a dipping shot from outside the box which
Wiggy watched all the way.

Any fightback by the visitors was soon quashed when AFC
restored their  two-goal lead when Adam
Probets, culpable earlier of missing easier chances, saw his shot-come-cross fro
m the edge of the box sail in at the far post, and AFC went in at the break
well in control.

As the snow began to fall in the second half, AFC keeper
Wigglesworth’s only fear was of catching frost-bite, so little was he involved.
The match stats reveal he didn’t actually receive the ball directly from any
Ipswich player in that second period, so much were AFC on top. But chances came
and went at the other end, the most glaring miss being that from debutant sub
Gary Hughes, who , faced with a striker’s dream – a one-on-one – had all the
time in the world to eat a three course meal, together with coffee and
chocolate mints , before he slipped the ball wide of the left-hand post. So
gilt-edged was the opportunity, said player was so deeply affected that last
heard he was receiving counselling.

The impressive Ben Fawkes in the centre-midfield scored
to give a true reflection of AFC’s dominance, rolling the ball home from
eighteen yards with the keeper in a tizzy, and AFC added another from the
penalty spot, awarded when Martin Probets, the master of the tackle-dribble,
went down in the box as if snipered, leaving many wondering exactly which one
of the Probets was forging a Thespian career. Hemblys’s spot-kick gave him a
hat-trick to add to his burgeoning CV , though for one who intended rolling the
ball low into the corner was mightily relieved to see it fly just underneath
the crossbar.

There was no further scoring, though time here to mention
a few individuals who performed with admiration. Youngsters Chris Boow and
Henry Wogan came through a full ninety with praise, clearly up for making it as
a double-act should One Direction ever split up, skipper Rambo was solid as a
rock, and Ben Fawkes showed he had more to his armoury than just a wing-wizard,
displaying neat and simple touches in the middle of the park. Martin Probets,
though, was perhaps the most eye-catching on view, so it was sad to see such a
grand performer showing a touch of petulance when asked to be subbed off with
just ten minutes remaining and the job done. He cut a sad and lonely figure as
he trooped off through the trees, evoking memories of Spurs’ Ricky Villa in the
drawn FA Cup Final of 1981. Expect a memorable solo goal from Monsieur Probets
next time out.

Team; Wigglesworth; Boow, Robinson; Heaton, Ramsden,
Casalino; Fawkes, Hemblys, M Probets; Wogan, A Probets. Subs; Meynell, Hughes.


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