Sunday, 11 April 2010

FC Halifax Town 4 – 0 Lancaster City; Sat 10th April 2010.


I had to take Night Nurse twice to get to sleep for two nights prior, and here it is—the very pinnacle of FC Halifax Town's existence thus far. Not that it were destined to be such (alternatively, it may have almost confirmed us going up via the playoffs), but most of even the loftiest predictions for Saturday's match managed to gaze above the end result.

What did we know? It was a battle between 2nd (us) and 1st (them), with two points separating it. It doesn't confirm a season, but it goes fairly far in telling us how the Unibond North runaways square up to one another.

So, it was 4–0, we're top now by a fragile point, and we managed to take in 3152 through the turnstiles. It was the highest crowd outside the league (luckily Luton, Oxford, Cambridge and Wimbledon weren't at home to pip it), and the 31st highest crowd in Saturday's pick of English football—all from a team in the eighth tier. That many for below sea level football, all spectators taking their places within two stands, means atmosphere. With me on accordion and another fan on drums that was what we had.

Not forgetting there were 22 people below us kicking a ball around too. The quality of play meant the woodwork fans would need good excuses to pass off watching us again. Many regulars took friends, exiles made the long trip, and some even wandered in out of interest. As a team, Lancaster were average and hadn't got us sussed at all. We, on the other hand, were on fire. All of our moves were given vocal encouragement and some of them were close calls. An early close-range effort was blasted over before Gregory opened it up within a few minutes. In the second half Fearon nearly spilled it into his own net. He took a scorching header towards the end very well, and another effort regretfully hit the bar. So another "We could've had seven or eight" again for many, though this time against a team that has won 13 on the trot; an opposition form you wouldn't want to take home to see your grandma.

On top of the bombarding of the Lancaster defense, three further goals pinned the Dolly Blues down. Payne's header near the end of the first half bounced 'twixt players but couldn't be stopped, then Deano and another from loan man Lee Gregory towards the end. Lancaster were everything I found them to be away at Woodley, which wasn't much at all. But this time Lancaster scuppered a chance of running away with it against their only rivals to the title; an awful move for their management. They played football, but they didn't play it very well. That seems to happen nine times out of ten when a team play football against us. The Lancaster striker Jordan Connerton, who has equalled our James Dean's tally, failed to break through the defense and add to his 38 or so in this season's campaign.

It was a performance that never petered out either end and I have no reason to rate it under 10/10, even were I a non-partisan. For passion, whichever team you backed, you weren't going to find a better venue this Saturday. I won't even mention the baseness of the Grand National . . . Many of the <100 Lancaster fans were still applauding their team several minutes after full-time, and the four goals each tested the crush barriers from my placing near the top of the South Stand. Sadly, it will always heat up a bit, especially in the biggest game we've had for a few years, and a nobber or two tried to pick a fight with the Lancaster fans, but there was nothing at all serious to report. I have to blame those in power for not imposing segregation when it was necessary and made complete sense.

Coming home I found out Shonen Knife are playing at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds in May. Bloody perfect day, and well done for all of those extras lending support. I'm hoping 650 are now in the mind to find the Tameside on AA Route Planner this Monday for Curzon away, which will be a tougher match, nyerm, 1300+ in attendance for Radcliffe home this Thursday, and what, 850+ 'obbling to Ossett on Saturday. The fixtures are clogged, but if this 4–0 of all 4–0s doesn't snuff the apathy of Calderdale citizens and attract a few hundred more, nothing will.

This has been my proudest moment as a Shaymen and I have a feeling people won't come out with ridicule as often when they find out where my allegiance is. Having said that, I'd like to have a slightly calmer match next time! Most of us know that on Wednesday night, over five dying minutes we scored three away to Garforth Town to come out 3–4 victors and I'm becoming a mental wreck.

As per match reports away to Rossy and Garforth during the week, I'm afraid I've been in Scotland. They'll never be, unless on the off-chance someone wants to write them up for me.

Just perfect! Who needs female contact? See you at the Shay.

FC Halifax Town 4 – 0 Lancaster; att. 3512.
Non-partisan rating: 10/10
Top men: all


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