Sunday, 6 May 2012

FC Halifax Town 0 v Gainsborough Trinity 1 -BSBN Play Off semi final 2nd leg

Sunday 6th May 2012, at the Shay Stadium
Blue Square Bet North, Play Off semi final 2nd leg
FC Halifax Town (0) 0
Gainsborough Trinity (0) 1
Shane Clarke 73
Trinity won 3-2 on aggregate
Admission £12.50, Programme £3, Attendance 3468
Suitably named garage, straight opposite the away fans car park

FC Halifax Town:
1. Eastwood, 2. Toulson, 3. McManus (14. Hannah 63 mins),
4. Ashworth, 5. Hogan, 6. Lowe, 7. Clancy, 8.Baker. 9. Dean,
10. Needham (16. St Juste 76 mins), 11. Gregory
Unused Subs - 12. Senior, 15. Crooks, 17. Garner
Gainsborough Trinity:
1. White, 2. Roma 3. Sandwith, 4. Waterfall, 5. Boyce, 6. Clarke,
7. D’Laryea, 8. J Williams (14 R Williams 73 mins)
9. Kendall (13 Mettam 45 mins),10. Stamp (12. Connor 57 mins),
11. Jamie Yates
Unused Subs - 16. McMahon, 17. Watts
1pm. Trinity fans gather outside the Three Pigeons

Congratulations to Gainsborough Trinity on reaching the BSBN Play Off final next Sunday, following a hard won victory against a very live FC Halifax Town, at the Shay Stadium.
And ta very much, to the guys from the GTFC supporters club, for making me so welcome on their bus.
Much appreciated gents :-)
What a great day out we had in Halifax, where, I'm happy to report, the home supporters were really good losers and magnanimous to a fault.
Don't believe all of the hype and negative publicity the FC Halifax Town fans get.
We travelled over on one of a fleet of six coaches that left from the Northolme and reached our destination in good time to take in several pints at the Three Pigeons public house (above) before heading on to the main event.
Much was being made of Trinity's no previous promotion/no previous relegation, throughout their 139 year history, in the the build up to this second leg game.
Many people predicted, prematurely, that there would be no change to that long standing record after this afternoon's game too and Steve Housham's side seemed to be odds on favourites to fall at the semi final stage.
But, it's better to have travelled in hope n' all that.
And there was certainly a mood of quite confidence and optimism, in the air, on coach number 3, as it turned off the westbound M62 and headed into Halifax.
All six coaches, were subsidised by the Trinity chairman Peter Swann, as a consequence the fare was just £5 per person.
A great gesture by Mr Swann and a brilliant idea to transport a larger than usual, noisy away support, to give his players a lift.
It worked a treat.
Kick off was delayed by ten minutes, because of the queues of people still waiting to get in at 3pm.
I never actually heard how many fans had travelled up to support Trinity today, but my 'guestimate' would be, well over 500.
And they came to make some noise and party too.
After the game, the Halifax manager Neil Aspin, had the following to say.
"We deserved to win the game today there is no question about that. We had more possession, more shots on goal, more corners, hit the woodwork twice and we dominated play. However, if you don't score in football, unfortunately you don't win matches and it wasn't to be. You need some luck to win the play-offs and we didn't get it"
He could also have added, 'Bloody hell! Where does our defence go to at set pieces?'
Because, just like in the first leg, Gainsborough unlocked the Shaymen from yet another Kevin Sandwith dead ball.
This time it was a corner, that found Luke Waterfall, who's headed flick on fell into the path of Shane Clarke, who bulged the back of the net from inside the six yard box.
The goal came shortly after both Tom Baker and Lee Gregory had missed great chances to put the home side ahead.
Aspin was right in so much as his side certainly did create more chances than Trinity.
And once or twice the woodwork played an absolute blinder for the visitors, whilst Jason White, White, White was kept very busy at times too.
... and sometimes he hits the woodwork too

But a lot of credit, must be given to Trinity's defence, for keeping out a side that had a wealth of fire-power in their ranks, in the shape of James Dean, Lee Gregory, Tom Baker and (when he came on) Ross Hannah.
Andy Boyce, in particular, was showing heaps of grit and determination, to ensure that 'they shall not pass', with an appetite that bordered on the outer extremities of what the expression 'fair but firm' means, at times.
But needs must.
Boyce certainly seemed to have some of the Halifax players rattled with his toe to toe, 'in yer' face', style of play.
On one occasion I winced as he seemed to overstep the mark and it looked as though it might prove costly for the visitors.
But the referee, Gary Beswick, had a better view of the incident than me.
So the competitive number 5, escaped punishment and carried on doing what he does best; manning the barricades and getting stuck in.
Boyce is a traditional, good old fashioned centre half, if ever there was one.
The sort of guy you want to jeer at if he's playing for the opposition, while secretly wishing your own side had a similar combative player, who would run through brick walls for the cause.
Of course if, in Andy Boyce, the home fans had an opposition player they could 'love to hate'. Trinity's followers could reciprocate that emotion towards their (twice) former player Liam Needham.
A loud and 'appreciative' roar from the away fans, greeted him being substituted in the second half, after he had put in a largely ineffective display.
At least I think it was appreciative ;-)
Obviously somebody close by must've thought that Needham was a contortionist.
How else could he have performed a sex act like that on himself.
I think you have to have a certain amount of sympathy for Liam Needham's plight though.
He's been a Sheffield Wednesday fan since his early childhood, so he must've had a fairly miserable time of it over the years.
In the last third of the game, having survived one or two scares, just before Shane Clarke put them ahead, with Halifax having to push up in search of an equaliser, Trinity almost scored a second goal, this time from open play, when Ryan Williams surged into space in the penalty area and shot inches wide from 8 yards out.
Steve Houshman's pre planning and tactics were working out perfectly as the game entered the final ten minutes.
Trinity had held out and patiently, absorbed pressure, in the first half, when it was warranted, but then switched things around, just at the right time, when they needed to go in search of a goal.
Halifax have some great talented individuals, who would grace any team at this level.
But Trinity's teamwork ethic was immense, they kept things tight and moved as a unit, playing to their strengths in whatever zone of the pitch they happened to be in, covering each others backs and smothering any attempts by Neil Aspin's side to open the game up.
At times it didn't make for open, flowing, easy on the eye football, but it was effective and won them the required result, at the end of the day.
Shane Clarke isn't going to miss from there ... one nil to Gainsborough

If Trinity had gone for an hell for leather, policy of all out attack, Halifax had the quality to exploit the gaps those tactics would have left and would most likely have won the game.
But Houshman's shrewd, grafting, master plan, was in essence a master stroke.
Well played that man!
But Halifax weren't beaten just yet and Trinity had to weather a bit of a storm right at the end.
Ross Hannah and Tom Baker were both thwarted by Jason White. Baker probably wished he gone for power instead of placing the ball, when he had time and space to pick his spot, because White blocked his resultant effort with ease.
Ryan Williams narrowly misses the chance to make it two nil to Trinity

With the clock running down, Sean Clancy tried a glory grabbing effort on the Trinity goal from 18 yards out, but his effort flew wide and the visitors were all but home and dry.
FC Halifax Town, will resume next season in the Blue Square North, while Gainsborough Trinity's fate is now in their own hands.

A defining moment, of a glorious sunny afternoon for me, was when the really young, next generation of Trinity fans were bouncing about on the bus chanting "We - are - going - up - say - we - are -going -up" as the driver circumnavigated the town centre roads back towards the M62, passing the splendidly named Inn Cognito public house en route.I took a phone call from a friend, who told me that the other Blue Square North semi final had gone into extra time ... and everybody sat going through the connotations and permutations, until another call confirmed that Nuneaton Town had beaten Guiseley with a goal right at the end of extra time.
That proved to be a popular result on the bus, because, by virtue of finishing above Nuneaton in the table, Trinity would have home advantage in a winner takes all, one legged final, at the Northolme, next Sunday.
There are far more wordy, detailed and accurate match reports than mine to be had on both club's official websites and several local newspaper sites (amongst others), including the Halifax Courier's very detailed blow by blow account, titled 'Set piece problems return to haunt Town', see here -->
I actually fancy FC Halifax Town, to make a real tilt for promotion next season.
Once they've solved the concerns they have over defending dead ball situations around their own penalty area.
Next up: More Blue Squre Play Off action, in the Premier Division, as Mansfield Town host York City in a second leg tie, that is finely balanced after a 1-1 draw between the two sides at Bootham Crescent on Wednesday.