Venue: The Shay
Saturday, 30th April, 3pm kick-off

Conditions: Dull

Pitch: A rugby league pitch – rock hard, sandy and not conducive to good football.

Attendance: 1,947 (106 away supporters)

Scorers: Zach Dearnley 83


Yeovil: Wilkinson 53, Barnett 54, Knowles 80
Debrah 60, Warren 61, Spence 90+3

Referee: Michael Barlow


Yeovil Town : (4-3-3)

Grant Smith

Mark Little (Sonny Blu Lo-Everton 85), Luke Wilkinson, Max Hunt, Morgan Williams

Dale Gorman, Lawson D’Ath, Jordan Barnett

Tom Knowles (Ben Barclay 81), Reuben Reid (Adi Yussuf 75) , Josh Neufville

Substitutes: Jack Robinson, Alex Bradley

FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 5 Jesse Debrah, 8 Kieran Green (Martin Woods 75), 10 Matt Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 17 Kian Spence, 20 Harvey Gilmour (Matty Stenson 64), 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (Zak Dearnley 78), 28 Pierce Bird

Substitutes: 2 Jay Benn, 19 Jamie Cooke

Match Report

A late winner from Zach Dearnley saw FC Halifax Town break a stubborn Yeovil Town side to earn the three points they needed to seal a National League play-off position.

The substitute found himself in the right place in a crowded penalty box to turn home a right wing ball from Tyrell Warren with seven minutes remaining.

Up until that point neither side appeared to have the quality to find a breakthrough with Josh Neufville coming closest when he smashed an effort off the crossbar in the closing stages of the first half.

Here is how Coatesie saw it from his position in the away end at The Shay…..

First half

The first meaningful opportunity fell to the hosts on six minutes and it was ex-Glover Matt Warburton who was at the heart of it breaking down the left before feeding in strike partner Billy Waters whose shot was cleared off the line by Morgan Williams.

Williams was a definite target on the left side of defence with both Warburton and Jordan Slee testing for weaknesses in the visitors’ defence.

With 24 minutes gone, Warburton and Waters combined again and it was only further last ditch defending that denied them.

At the other end, the tactic was to play long balls forward for Reuben Reid, Josh Neufville and Jordan Barnett to run on to. A couple of penalty appeals – one more half-hearted for Barnett followed by another stronger one for Reid – were the most we had to offer for it.

Until about three minutes before the break that was about the level of opportunities which came to either side. Then Jack Senior got away down the left and picked out Waters who (very fortunately) slipped at the vital moment.

Josh Neufville. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

But the closest either side came to scoring fell to Neufville who found himself in space on the edge of the box and, with no obvious pads available, unleashed a thunderous effort which came back off the crossbar.

Certainly not a classic and goalless at the break.

Half time: FC Halifax Town 0 Yeovil Town 0


Second Half

Having warned Halifax supporters pre-match that they would probably be cursing Tom Knowles at some point in the game, the opening ten minutes cantered around the forward’s ‘injuries’ which certainly earned him his attention of the hosts.
For Halifax, the front three of Warburton, Waters and Slew continued to probe and there was some last ditch defending required. The most came on then house mark when Warburton and Waters combined for the latter to have a shot which was deflected by a heroic stop by Luke Wilkinson.
This certainly was not a vintage performance from either side with Halifax’s attractive passing having very little in the way of cutting edge, whilst Yeovil could not string any real passes together.
Going forward it relied on a moment of magic from either Neufville or Knowles. Neufville showed moments of his undoubted class but had very little in the way of support.

Another combination between Warburton and Waters saw the latter arrive at the back post to fire in to the side netting after 77 minutes.

Eventually The Shaymen found a breakthrough and unsurprisingly it came from the right side with Tyrrel Warren’s ball in turned home by substitute Zachary DEARNLEY with seven minutes of normal time remaining.
It was clearly a goal that meant more to the home side who needed three points to secure a play-off place. Manager Pete Wild punched the air in delight and The Shay awoke from the slumber it has been in for the previous 83 minutes.
For Yeovil, it seemed another match towards the end of the season with a further one to come in under 48 hours.

Full time: FC Halifax Town 1 Yeovil Town 0

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