Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Halifax Town – The Shay

Archie Love - Halifax Town
16th November 2013 

Halifax 4-0 Aldershot


Halifax v Aldershot has a ring to it of a long established fixture; one from the very early days of the Football League even.  But in reality it was as relatively recently as 1963 that the first such league fixture took place. 

Although, given that the two present incarnations are resurrections following recent liquidations, one could argue that this was in fact the first competitive meeting of the two clubs, following FC Halifax Town’s promotion to (and Aldershot Town’s relegation to) the Skrill Conference Premier at the end of last season.


It is some time since have I witnessed such a one-sided bashing as Halifax handed out this afternoon, for Aldershot were (and let’s not mince words here) pretty dreadful.  Their defenders when not being posted missing, appeared to panic whenever the ball found its way into their penalty area (which was often).  Going forward the visitors were little better; their sole tactic seemingly to thump long-balls in the vague direction of their two lofty forwards Brett Williams and Matt Paterson, neither of whom succeeded in emerging from the hip pockets of their markers during the whole ninety minutes.

Halifax scored three times before the break through Lee GREGORY, Scott McMANUS and right-winger Adam SMITH.  The last-named I thought had an excellent first-half, even once popping up to head clear in his own 6-yard box to thwart one of Shot’s rare attacks.  After the break, however, Smith was less effective with visiting full-back defender Dan Butler finally getting to grips with him - with the exception of one mazy run by Smith after which Butler almost had to do the “paying to get back in” thing.

Two of the home substitutes also caught my eye: Joe Ironside replaced Local Hero Gregory up front and proceeded to make a thorough nuisance of himself, without reaping the reward his industry deserved.  I was also pleased to see Burnley loanee Archie Love, the lone Scot in the home squad.  He came on with 20 minutes or so remaining, and looked very comfortable in the middle of the home midfield.  But then again, I am sure coming on as a sub when your side is 3-0 up is a whole lot easier than doing so if your side is 3-0 down.

The rout was completed 19 minutes from time - blond defender Marc ROBERTS heading in unchallenged from close range, with the Aldershot defenders having disappeared into the Twilight Zone once more.

Matt Paterson - Aldershot Town

Halifax Town v Aldershot Town - November 2013

Halifax No 15 Marc Roberts rises to clear a first-half corner kick

Halifax winger Adam Smith sets off to find a visiting defender to torment.

Marc Roberts scores Halifax Town's fourth..........

....note lack of marking defenders.......

........a feature of Aldershot Town's dismal display this afternoon.

Time-up on a comprehensive bashing for 'Shot

The Shay (Shay is a derivation of shaw, meaning wood I believe) really is an eclectic collection of stands.  At either end lie identical-looking steep, covered terracing; although only one was in use this afternoon.  The oldest part of the ground, I should guess, is the stunted West or Skircoat Stand, which fails to run the whole length of the pitch and is bookended by areas of grass banking.  I liked that – there is not enough grass banking in football grounds these days.

The East Stand featured an unusual large glass panel, which I am assuming, is where our corporate friends watch the match from.  But it looked rather empty in there this afternoon, with the few souls present sitting chatting, seemingly taking no notice of the sporting proceedings.  In the corner has been erected an odd skeletal girder construction which looks as if the building of offices/corporate boxes was commenced, but that someone ran out of money or inclination, or both.


But for all that I liked The Shay, and felt it was a worthwhile place to have pottered away a couple of hours of my life. 

The Shay, Halifax

Panorama of The Shay, Halifax

As it says............The Shay Reception

This unusual message could be glimpsed on the hill just over the East Stand.
Any ideas anyone?

Work in Progress?

The West or Skircoat Stand - The Shay, Halifax


Those few Aldershot fans who travelled endured a wretched afternoon.

Hospitality area in the Main Stand.

Panorama of The Shay, Halifax.

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