Halifax Town 1-2 Notts County (FA Trophy Round Five) 12.02.22
Notts County are through to the quarter finals of the Buildbase FA trophy following an impressive 1-2 away victory over FC Halifax Town.
The game faced serious doubts heading up to kick-off, yet two pitch inspections were passed, and the game began as scheduled at 15:00. Three minutes beyond the stroke of the hour the Magpies took the lead. Ruben Rodrigues threaded an inch-perfect through ball into the path of the returning Dion Kelly-Evans, who managed to fire a low, powerful effort towards goal. The goal-bound effort was well-stopped by Sam Johnson, but only parried as far as Ruben Rodrigues once again, who was on hand to blast the ball into the back of the Shaymen’s net for the opener.
Following the opener, the game dribbled into an uneventful twenty minutes, but that period was concluded by Matthew Warburton coming close to drawing his side level. Warburton intercepted Alex Lacey’s attempted pass on the edge of his own area and was rewarded by an opening of space to dispatch a shot on goal. However, the midfielder’s tame effort was comfortably stopped by Sam Slocombe.
Town came close once again just three minutes later with Aaron Martin’s header deflected effort was once again easily stopped by Sam Slocombe, followed by Kian Spence dispatching from range with the Notts shot stopper on hand again to deny the hosts.
That was all the first half had in-store for those in attendance as the sun reappeared to support what was a very muddy, damaged football pitch at half-time.
As mentioned already, Dion Kelly-Evans returned to the starting eleven and marked his return with a traditional Kelly-Evans lunge challenge. The full-back axed down Billy Waters and received a yellow card. Thankfully for the visitors, the Shaymen were unable to capitalise on a free kick from a promising position and the danger was cleared to safety.
The challenge clearly did not damage Billy Waters as shortly after being on the end of a rough challenge, the striker turned home the hosts’ equaliser. A swift attack from Pete Wild’s side resulted in a goal mouth scramble in a very heavy penalty area. The scramble concluded with the ball dropping to the in-form Waters, who fired home for his sixteenth goal of the season.
After the equaliser saw the immediate introduction of Cal Roberts. Shortly after entering the field, the winger was bundled over inside the penalty area and despite clear contact being made via an out-stretched leg, the referee waved play on and from that point it felt as if the tie was heading to a penalty shoot-out.
The game seemed as if it was heading to a penalty shoot-out that being until three minutes from time where Kairo Mitchell fired home to ensure his side’s place in the FA Buildbase trophy. A very encouraging surge forward from Jayden Richardson saw the full-back evade several challenges before poking the ball into the path of Cal Roberts. The winger entered the Halifax penalty area before curling the ball towards the back post where Mitchell awaited to turn the ball home from close range.
Despite many desperate attempts to salvage the penalty shoot-out, the referee’s final whistle sounded, and the game resulted FC Halifax Town 1-2 Notts County.
Halifax Town: Johnson, Benn, Senior, Bradbury, Debrah, Summerfield, Woods (Spence 24), Warburton (Thomas 68), Waters, Martin (McDonagh 69), Allen.
Notts County: Slocombe, Taylor, Lacey, Rawlinson, Kelly-Evans (Richardson 77), Francis, Vincent, Rodrigues, Sam (Roberts 66), Mitchell, Wootton (Nemane 77).
Venue: The Shay (1,406)
*Article provided by K-Ci Rennicks (Notts County Correspondent).
*Main image @Official_NCFC Dion Kelly-Evans and Eli Sam celebrate.