FC Halifax Town emerged victorious in the Isuzu FA Trophy final, clinching the title for the second time in seven years. The team secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Gateshead at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
In a closely contested match, Jamie Cooke proved to be the hero for Chris Millington’s side, scoring the decisive goal late in the first half. This triumph mirrored the team’s previous success in 2016 when they lifted the same trophy under the guidance of manager Jim Harvey, with Scott McManus netting the winning goal.
Halifax Town faced the final without striker Mani Dieseruvwe, who was suspended, while midfielder Jordan Keane and defender Festus Arthur were sidelined due to injuries. However, the squad did include young academy players Teddy Lavelle and Frankie Sinfield, along with Charlie English, who travelled with the team to experience the historic occasion.
Gateshead had the first corner of the game in the early stages, but their attempt to create a chance from a short corner was thwarted by the Town defence. Halifax then earned back-to-back corners, but their efforts were well dealt with by the Gateshead goalkeeper, James Montgomery.
In the 26th minute, Gateshead’s Adam Campbell looked to break the deadlock with a shot from outside the box, but it deflected towards Halifax’s goalkeeper, Sam Johnson, who made a comfortable save. Rob Harker had a golden opportunity to score in the 28th minute, but he was ruled offside by the linesman.
Halifax continued to press for an opening goal, and their perseverance paid off in the 43rd minute. Jamie Cooke’s pressure on the Gateshead defence caused a mistake, leading to an own goal as the ball bounced off Montgomery and found the back of the net.
Gateshead tried to mount a comeback in the second half, with Aaron Martin missing an opportunity to equalise from the edge of the area in the 49th minute. The match became an end-to-end affair, with both teams creating chances but failing to convert.
Montgomery made crucial saves to deny Halifax’s attempts, including a left-footed volley from Jack Hunter in the 71st minute. Gateshead also had their opportunities, but Johnson stood firm, saving a shot from Conteh in the 80th minute.
Despite Gateshead’s late pressure in the closing stages of the game, Halifax’s defence held strong during the seven minutes of additional time. Gateshead had the majority of possession but failed to create any clear-cut chances. FC Halifax Town ultimately emerged as the Isuzu FA Trophy champions for the 2022/23 season.