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Afc Halifax Veterans 7 Halifax Rangers 0

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AFC Halifax Veterans 7 Halifax Rangers 0.


On Tuesday (28 May), AFC Halifax Veterans played their first friendly at Hipperholme and Lightcliffe School as a warm-up for the fast
approaching defence of their Worldnet title. The opposition was provided by Sunday League side Halifax Rangers, who, despite finishing bottom of the whole pack last season, neverthless had picked up somewhat during the second half of their campaign and finished unbeaten in three and on the back of an 8-1 victory. Just how stern a test they would provide was unclear but with Martin Bishop, an AFC open-age regular but turning out for the Rangers, suggesting that Craig Peckover would know he was ‘in a game within five minutes of kick-off’ the fire had already been stoked.


Playing down the slope, AFC soon had the upper hand and pretty much had set the pattern of the game as they spread the ball about at ease. The opening goal was not long in coming, Ben Fawkes, making his step-up to the senior side, provided the left-wing cross which was glided over the line by Adam Robinson. Without much of a response from Rangers, AFC doubled the lead when Andy Hemblys isolated Peter Bowe in the Rangers goal, and when the ball was pulled back to Fawkes, he drilled it goalwards as sweet as a die to score a lovely goal despite the presence of the retreating visiting defence.

Rangers did have the odd moment which caused flutters in the AFC back line; Sean Byrne escaped the attentions of his markers to find himself clear on goal. You would have put your month’s rent on him finding the net – Byrne, after all, had netted four times on his last Rangers outing – but after puling the trigger, the strong arm of Nigel Walker kept the ball out.

But AFC soon continued their dominance with impressive performances during the first half coming from the hard-working Adam Robinson up front, and another newcomer in Martin Probets, who showed silky skills in the midfield, perhaps the last real fancy dan, whilst at the back, Messrs Barker, Heaton and Abson comfortably dealt with the Rangers ideology of ‘going over the top’ with ball. By half-time, AFC had gone three up, Hemblys arriving to steer the ball into the far corner for a well-taken goal, the outcome of the game surely a formality even at this stage.

Several changes were made at the break and AFC switched from the 3-5-2 formation to a compact 4-5-1 and there was no let up. Matty Thompson proved a constant menace down the left flank, and it was his deep cross that was headed down by Hemblys for Johnny Meynell to swivel, turn, roll over and in the middle of the acrobatics, direct the ball out of the reach of the keeper to score a goal
against the club whose way he pays.

Hemblys doubled his tally, lashing the ball home, before Dave Thompson took centre stage with a brace of his own, firstly outstripping the full-back (showing the benefit of a lean diet of oats and lush grass) and angling the ball in at the far post, then arriving to sidefoot home in a crowded box from another Thompson junior cross.      

There was just the odd Rangers foray that might have spoiled the AFC bedsheet; one, a cross-come-shot that just cleared the bar, and a desperate tackle from Abson that prevented a clean shot on goal. AFC saw out the game, refereed impeccably by L. Casalino jnr incidentally, to register the highest victory against a current local league side. 

All-in-all, a pleasing evening’s work, and with Steve Payne and Danny King still set to join up with the squad, things augur well.


Walker; Blackburn, Fawkes, Abson, Barker, Heaton, Hemblys, Probets, Holcroft, Peckover, Robinson. Subs; Sykes, D Thomson, M Thompson, Meynell, Kelly, Dawson.



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