FC Halifax Town 1 v 2 Bradford City (FA Cup 1st Round)
The magic of the FA Cup returned for another season as FC Halifax Town entertained Bradford City at the Shay. The first round match was covered live on BT Sport as the country looked for another cup giant killing.
Neil Aspin’s Halifax side started the stronger of the two sides and after only two minutes they won the first corner of the game. Paul Marshall’s corner kick eventually dropped to Simon Ainge inside the area, but the defenders strike is narrowly deflected wide of City’s goal.
From the resulting corner, Lois Maynard fired Halifax into the lead, Marshall’s near post corner found an unmarked Maynard who slotted the ball pasted a helpless Ben Williams from close range.
On eight minutes, with City struggling to clear their lines, it was Lois Maynard who latched onto a loose ball and struck a half-volley, but his effort lacked power and went straight into the arms of Ben Williams in the City goal.
Bradford’s first real chance came when Filipe Morais’ got to the Halifax byline before sending over a cross that looked to be dropping into far corner of Matt Glennon’s goal before Simon Ainge flicked the ball away with his head from just under his own crossbar.
However the danger isn’t over as Mark Yeates hit a shot at goal from the far side of the box, but his effort was blocked behind by Kevin Roberts and went for a corner.
On twenty eight minutes, Filipe Morais had a shot at goal from just outside the corner of Halifax’s penalty area, but rising drive whistled narrowly wide of Glennon’s near post.
Halifax should have taken the lead on thirty-six minutes when Scott Boden found himself free to strike a fierce drive from outside the box which curled narrowly wide of Ben Williams goal.
With just five minutes to go before half-time Richard Peniket’s low cross into the area finds his strike partner Scott Boden inside the area, but the striker, fired over the bar with a shot on the turn.
A minute later Peniket’s cross into the box is headed out by Sheehan into the path of the lurking Kevin Roberts inside City’s area, but the right wing back’s first time effort is slashed well wide of goal to make the half-time score 1-0 to Halifax.
Phil Parkinson made a number of changes at half-time bringing on Billy Clarke for Andrew Halliday and changing the City formation to 4-4-2.
It took City just three minutes of the second half to have their first attempt at the Halifax goal, as the changes made an instant impact. Billy Clarke collected a Stephen Darby pass in the area before forcing a decent save from Matt Glennon at his near post.
A minute later, Filipe Morais crosses into the box but the ball is headed clear, but Stephen Darby is first to the loose ball and from twenty five yards, but his first time strike sails comfortably wide of Glennon’s goal.
On fifty minutes, City drew level following some excellent play from Morais and Clarke sees Stead in on goal with only Glennon to beat. The striker showed great calmness to dance around the Halifax ‘keeper before slotting into the empty net.
Three minutes later Filipe Morais scores to fire the Bantams in front, Clarke is again on hand with the assist as the substitute chipped the ball in the path of the marauding Morais, who fired a fabulous angled drive into the far corner from twelve yards out.
Marshall tries his luck from outside the area on sixty-four minutes, but his curling effort bounced comfortably wide of Ben Williams’ far post. On sixty-eight minutes, Andrew Davies was booked for a late challenge on Peniket about twenty-five yards from goal.
Andy Smith delivered the resulting free-kick which City struggled to clear, they had to make a couple of last ditch blocks from shots and headers that Halifax fired at the Williams goal.
On seventy-one minutes the City bench go up as one to appeal for a penalty after Clarke appears to be barged into from behind by Kevin Roberts. However the referee waves play on. Five minutes later Louis Maynard fires a loose ball at goal from around twenty-five yards out but his snap shot rolls comfortably wide of Williams’ goal.
Mark Yeates plays Billy Clarke into a clear shooting position behind FC Halifax defence, Clarke drives into the area towards Glennon’s goal, but the striker’s side-footed effort is blocked by the diving frame of the goalkeeper.
The referee added five minutes of injury time and FC Halifax had two more great chances to bring the score level, the first followed a Jackson cross into the area which fell to Boden, but his strike for goal was blocked by Stephen Darby. Maynard fired goalwards with an effort from outside the box on the rebound but it is deflected wide for a corner.
Smith’s corner towards the far post is headed for goal by Mark Roberts but Morais is on hand by the post to kick the ball away. City still have to work hard to scramble the ball clear from their box, which they eventually do after a couple of blocks.
Former Halifax assistant manager and ex-Bradford City left-back Wayne Jacobs shows his delight at the result as he reports for BBC Radio Leeds, he is now looking forward to the second round draw on Monday evening at 7.00pm.
Speaking after the match manager Phil Parkinson said, “Halifax gave us the exact sort of challenge we were expecting, they were a strong, physical team and they looked to test us on long throw-ins and their other set-pieces.
Unfortunately, we got off to the worst possible start, but despite that I though we had some good passages of play in the first half. We got in some good crossing positions, but we just lacked that bit of quality in and around the box.
We said to the lads at half time that if we made it a battle in the second half, we would be going out. We needed to be calm in possession and make our quality count. It was a big test for us at half time, questions were being asked of us as a group.
We had 3,500 fans here and we were one-nil down to a side two leagues below us, but I don’t think you could have asked much more of the players given the way they responded in that second period.
When you are not in the team, it is always disappointing for any player. The way you do your talking though is out on the pitch and Billy Clarke has certainly done that today.
Stephen Darby was great today, he was driving forward for us down that right wing supporting Filipe Morais and he also put himself on the line to protect his goal time and time again, it was a captain’s performance.”
FC Halifax Town – Glennon, Ainge, McManus, M.Roberts, Williams, K.Roberts, Pearson, Maynard, Marshall, Peniket, Boden (Subs) Senior, Bolton, Smith, Jackson, Dyer, Wilson, Schofield
Bradford City – Williams, Darby, Meredith, Sheehan, Davies, Knott, Morais, Halliday, Kennedy, Stead, Yeates (Subs) Urwin, McBurnie, Clarke, Mottley-Henry, Dolan, Routis, McArdle
Goals – (FC Halifax) Maynard (03) (Bradford City) Stead (50), Morais (53)
Attendance – 8,042