Keeper saves Boro at Halifax

PUBLISHED: 11:42 20 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:01 06 May 2010

Halifax Town 1 Stevenage Boro 1 STEVE WATKINS reports Boro s play-off march continued with a Good Friday point at rivals Halifax. Despite a stirring second-half performance, a draw saw them slip out of the all important top five. There was little doubt th

Halifax Town 1 Stevenage Boro 1

STEVE WATKINS reports

Boro's play-off march continued with a Good Friday point at rivals Halifax.

Despite a stirring second-half performance, a draw saw them slip out of the all important top five.

There was little doubt that the Shaymen were one of the most fluent of footballing sides at Broadhall Way this season.

They were keen to show that was no fluke as they themselves looked to consolidate their play-off claim.

Boro, reintroducing Barry Laker and reverting to the more orthodox four-man defence, soon found themselves on the back foot as Halifax put in a powerful first-half performance.

The home midfield were proving to be a real handful, aided by front man Danny Forrest, and kept the Boro defence busy with their bright play.

Alan Julian, as impeccable as ever, saved brilliantly as West Brom loanee Brian Smikle tore through the Boro defence, only to his effort blocked by the keeper.

There was an inevitability that Halifax would break the deadlock but they were to do so in disappointing circumstances as a Steve Haslam corner was met unconvincingly by a Boro head.

Quick as a flash, big defender Greg Young prodded at the ball and his mishit shot had the ball rolling casually over the line with Julian stranded.

Boro would have been happy to make the break a single goal down, especially after Julian had again denied Forrest in style.

But they nearly drew level when this time Jon Kennedy pulled off a fine save that denied Jon Nurse.

The second half saw no respite from the home side but Boro used the philosophy of attack being the best form of defence.

Laker was withdrawn injured at the break, replaced by Adam Miller. They went to three at the back and started to compete in the midfield, with Ollie Berquez and Dannie Bulman as destructive as ever.

In a bold move, with no goal coming, realising that they just had to get something from the game, Jason Goodliffe was withdrawn and Boro were left with two defenders.

They were rewarded with five minutes remaining when Darryn Stamp stole in at the far post to head home from a Dino Maamria corner to give Boro a deserved share of the points.

Almost as if in acceptance that the draw was the suitable scoreline, the game was seen out without further goalmouth activity.

It was a fine evening's football, well contested between two sides that could be forced to do it all again in the play-offs.

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