An ill-tempered affair at the Gateshead International Stadium resulted in the Tynesiders and the Shaymen sharing the points in an even game. Despite Halifax hitting the woodwork two times, Gateshead may rue the fact they did not grab all three points and thus missing out on the chance to extend their perfect home record this season.
The game started slowly as both teams struggled to get a foothold in the game. This is shown in the game’s first chance as Halifax Town’s Matty Kosylo picked up the ball on the half-way line and with little passing options, he struck the ball past James Montgomery which cracked the post from 30 yards out, narrowly missing the Gateshead ‘keeper on the rebound.
Two minutes later, Halifax did have the ball in the Gateshead net but Gateshead’s clean sheet was preserved by a flag from the assistant referee who adjudged Halifax’s Denton to have been offside. Then, the moment which sparked an increase in tension on the pitch. A cross, easily dealt with by Gateshead ‘keeper James Montgomery, concluded with Montgomery having to be substituted after being fouled by Tom Denton who collided with the goalkeeper after Montgomery had caught the ball. Denton, two minutes later, then committed another foul and was lucky to escape without a booking from either challenge.
Tempers flared after these incidents yet Halifax, driven on by target-man Denton, hit the bar once again from an Adam Morgan free-kick which beat Dan Hanford but couldn’t beat the woodwork as the game remained all-square at 0-0. Gateshead’s biggest chance came through Burrow who saw his point-blank header saved by Sam Johnson who, despite being tested very rarely in the first-half, reacted brilliantly to ensure his side went in level at half-time.
The home side started the second-half the most promising but struggled to turn territory and possession into clear-cut chances. The game looked to have turned mid-way through the second half however as Halifax’s Matty Kosylo was given two yellow cards, the first for stopping a potential Gateshead counter-attack and the second for a late challenge on Callum Williams after the Gateshead fullback had volleyed the ball clear. The Halifax supporters felt aggrieved at the sending off as they made their view that Williams had made the most of Kosylo’s challenge abundantly clear to both the referee and the Gateshead right-back.
Despite playing almost half an hour with 10 men, Halifax nullified any Gateshead threat and at times looked most likely to score, especially through Tom Denton who commanded the air and won all aerial battles against his counterparts. Gateshead remain unbeaten at home this season, picking up five clean sheets in seven games, a clear indicator they will be a tough team to beat at the Gateshead International Stadium. Halifax lie in 15th position but maintain an impressive start away from The Shay as they stay unbeaten away from home this season.
ATTENDANCE: 1118 (232 Halifax Town)
MAN OF THE MATCH: TOM DENTON (his aerial presence meant the Gateshead defenders did not have a minute of peace and Denton was unlucky not to score, despite being stranded up-front once the Shaymen went down to ten men)