Halifax Town point way after Nathan Clarke sees red

Top player: Josh Staunton.Top player: Josh Staunton.
Top player: Josh Staunton.
Ten-man FC Halifax Town secured a hard-fought goalless draw at Woking.

Nathan Clarke was shown a straight red card just after the hour mark of a game that never really caught fire.

After that, Halifax dug deep, worked hard and just about held on.

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The result leaves them fourth, a point behind Barrow, who have a game in hand, and Bromley, who both have 27 points. Solihull Moors occupy third place from the Shaymen on plus seven goal difference.

Halifax’s defence comes out of the game with more credit than it’s attack, but under the circumstances, it was certainly a point gained.

Halifax started positively, passing with confidence and pressing with aggression, not letting Woking settle.

But Woking came into the game after a slow start, and nearly scored in a madcap minute or so when their corner appeared to hit the post, before Sam Johnson dropped the follow-up cross under pressure, and then the outstanding Josh Staunton’s header behind landed just the other side of the upright.

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Winger Dave Tarpey then dummied a shot and ghosted past Binnom-Williams before his strike flashed just wide across goal.

Halifax had a let-off when Loza’s speed was too much for Brown and Clarke, and when Johnson came out to try and kick the ball away, he missed it, forcing the mercifully-nearby Staunton into a clearance near the penalty spot.

A potential game-changer came just after the hour-mark when Clarke was shown a straight red for a lunging tackle on Shaun Donnellan in which he won the ball but had his studs showing.

Ben Gerring then had the game’s first effort on target with 20 minutes to go when his header was comfortably saved by Johnson.

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Woking’s best chance of the afternoon fell for Loza after a delightful flick into his path, but he snapped at the shot just inside the area and it was easily saved by Johnson.

Johnson made a super save deep into stoppage time from a Woking header as Halifax held out, having not had a shot on target to get their 116-strong following excited about.

Woking: Ross, Rea (Hodges 87), Donnellan (Kretzschmar 70), Diarra, Cook, Casey, Gerring, Ferdinand, Hyde, Loza, Tarpey. Unused substitutes: Paulat-Brigg, Collier, Poku.

FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Staunton, Maher, Duckworth, Binnom-Williams, Clarke, Brown, Cameron King (Cooper 69), MacDonald (Jeff King 78), Williams, Sho-Silva. Unused substitutes: Appleyard, Nolan, Southwell.

Referee: P Howard (London).