Saturday, 24 April 2010

Rundown: FC Halifax Town 2 – 2 Clitheroe; 20/04/10.


Football becomes particularly desperate when your prime attacking force turns out to be your goalie. Such happened in the first half on Tuesday night's game as a knackered bunch of Town players saw it through keeping the one point needed to give us the title.

Clitheroe had their threatening moments including a through ball which Hedge managed to cover, but our impetus was so lacking in the first half that the most momentum we'd get would be when the lad took a goal kick and we'd run right after it. Clitheroe marked us tightly and got very stuck in, but the fact of the matter behind that half was it was one of the dullest a Town fan has seen in the league all season. But we can get mean in the second half when we want to. We initially didn't.

It was a game of one half and then two quarters. A forced corner was taken advantage of by Clitheroe at the start of the second, and a quarter of an hour later they shot well, beyond Hedge's reach, to make it a bewildering 2–0 up. Which, for the second biggest attendance of the season, was a perturbing first. Would any floater return? But changes had been made, in Peers and Wilde (who came in fresh for Deano). It added the pace we definitely lacked, and Wilde beat the first man on almost every occasion. The way Aspin and Storton pump it into these man is fantastic. What with our attacking input too, it seemed goals would come.

For these, one rolled past their keeper in a well-placed shot for a well-earnt goal for Wilde on the 75th minute. It woke up the fans and enough noise was made to back all chances for the equaliser that had started to seem unlikely.

And it came, and in what style. It was poetry that the ball would come to Tom Baker, the centre midfield rock, always with us, always trying and dictating both defenders' and strikers' moves. A ball headed out from a corner bounced by him, and he, well, here you go (caution—delirious and foul language):

It wraps up a beautiful season for FC Halifax Town, and we're now going up. And who deserves it more than Baker, who has gone several months without a goal despite his striking talent to work on the behind, taking cares of matters there. Looks like he had a flip saved up for the moment too!

In the mean time, Clitheroe seemed to get rougher. At one occasion they did the typical late-second half thing and one of the players had a good roll about as soon as he heard the ref's whistle blow. Justice was done in the final minute when one was immediately sent off for going too far himself.

The South Stand sang away by the end of the match, though it was made underwhelming by crawling back to manage a respectable draw. Today's was more of a sigh of relief and we shall be expecting gleeful eruptions on Saturday.

But it doesn't matter. We'll be punching above in a few months' time, teams of a higher calibre, teams from a larger catchment area. I have discussed amongst others before a few places I'd never want to visit again but would have to obligingly if we stayed down, and for the meantime, they're gone.

At the same time, there are wonderful days out I've missed and would perhaps have never experienced otherwise. Places like Salford, Chorley, Trafford, Colwyn etc, hats off.

There are several rotund and/or timewasting goalkeepers I won't really miss.

There are genuine fans that I hope continue to thrive together in our absence.

There are many amateur-to-novice prima donnas I'm glad to see the back of.

There are a few charming old builds out there that deserve hundreds more fans to frequent them every week of the footballing season.

Saturday, which as I write this is coming up in about thirteen hours, is the last game for us in the Northern Premier League Division 1 North *gasp for air,* a seemingly tough but enthusiasm-grabbing game against Skelmersdale. we're looking to beat the record Unibond attendance for a game which would stand at a bit less than 3400, and though I can't be sure of that, I'd be delighted if it happens! Glory days have come and will continue to come if the ship remains as tight and effective as it is now. Me personally, I expect an honourable 4–1 and Skelmersdale to play the good football they do. Tomorrow's the promotion party and we'll be singing our hearts out for the lads.

FC Halifax Town 2 – 2 Clitheroe; att. 1932
Non-partisan entertainment: 5/10


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