Football: Harrogate Town 1-1 FC Halifax Town

Harrogate Town in action against Gainsborough Trinity
Harrogate Town in action against Gainsborough Trinity

Harrogate Town’s slender play-off hopes took another hit after rivals FC Halifax Town battled back to draw 1-1 at the CNG Staium.

Midfielder Adam Bolder opened the scoring from the penalty spot for Simon Weaver’s men on the quarter mark.

But Halifax right-back James Bolton equalised half-way through the second period to share the spoils.

The draw lifts Town up to sixth in Blue Square North, six points off Altrincham in the final play-off spot with only three games left.

Town boss Weaver made several changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Solihull on Tuesday.

Adam Nowakowski and Paul Beesley remained absent through illness with Danny Forrest and Luke Dean both out injured.

Young midfielders Dan Clayton and Alex Metcalfe were selected on the wings and Jose Da Veiga replaced Craig MacGillivray in goal.

Michael Woods, also restored to the starting line-up after recovering from a hamstring injury, started impressively behind lone front man Colin Larkin.

And it was his intensity up the field that forced the opening goal. The 22-year-old stole the ball off Fax captain Danny Lowe before his cut-back was blasted towards goal by Metcalfe.

The midfielder’s strike was blocked on the six yard line, but the referee deemed it to have struck the defender’s arm and pointed to the spot. Bolder stepped up to send goalkeeper Matty Glennon the wrong way.

Town were good value for their lead and Woods could have doubled it after 30 minutes but his stinging volley was parried clear.

Midfield linchpin Bolder then pulled up with a groin injury five minutes before the break, replaced by veteran Lee Elam.

Bolder’s loss to Town’s midfield was evident as Fax threatened an equaliser before half-time. Left-back Scott Macmunus tested Veiga but the replacemenet ‘keeper tipped a powerful attempt over.

Fax winger Chris Worsley then fired wide as the away side ended the half on the attack.

It was Town who resumed the ascendency after the restart and Dan Clayton flashed a drive wide.

But Halifax equalised 20 minutes into the half. The ball fell to Bolton inside the Town box and the right-back squirmed a shot through De Veiga.

The game ebbed and flowed but both sets of strikers were left feeding off scraps.

Fax nearly stole the victory late when Dan Gardner’s shot swung wide but both team’s settled for the point.

Town: Jose De Veiga, Matthew Bloomer, David Merris, Adam Bolder, Alan White, Shane Killock, Alex Metcalfe, Paul Bolland, Colin Larkin, Michael Woods, Dan Clayton

Subs: Chib Chilaka, Craig Radcliffe, Jonny Allan, Danny Hull, Lee Elam

Halifax: Matty Glennon, James Bolton, Scot MacManus, Jon Worthington, Matty Pearson, Danny Lowe (capt.), Chris Worsley, Sean Williams, Danny Glover, Dan Gardener, Lee Gregory

Subs: Phil Senior, Adam Jackson, Gareth Seddon, Alex Johnson, James Knowles.