FC Halifax Town experienced a frustrating 1-1 draw against Oxford City this afternoon at the Shay Stadium.
During the initial minutes, Town exerted pressure, with Harker’s attempt deflected in the Oxford box, and Adam Senior’s header narrowly missing the target.
Oxford responded with their own offensive push, as Nya Kirby of Oxford compelled Sam Johnstone to make a full-stretch save.
The prime opportunity to break the deadlock fell to Jamie Cooke, whose left-footed shot hit the woodwork following an impressive save by goalkeeper Chris Haigh.
The most contentious moment arrived around the 20-minute mark when Ryan Galvin was brought down within the Oxford box, only to earn a free kick just outside the penalty area. Referee David McNamara’s decision was debatable.
Town eventually found their breakthrough when Cooke executed a splendid header that set up Rob Harker for a composed finish. This marked his second goal of the season and gave the Shaymen a deserved lead in the 33rd minute.
The first half concluded with Halifax Town being notably superior and eager to maintain their momentum in the second half.
The second half commenced, and Oxford began positively, with Fleet’s volley clearing the bar and once again failing to trouble the Town keeper.
Josh Parker was released with an excellent pass in midfield and squared the ball to Pierre Fonkeu for a routine finish, thereby equalising for Oxford in the 53rd minute.
Both teams made substitutions just after the hour mark, with Alfie Potter replacing Fonkeu for Oxford in the 62nd minute and Max Wright coming on for Cooke in the 65th minute.
Oxford made their second substitution, with Joe Wilson replacing Aaron Williams-Bushell in the 67th minute.
In the 76th minute, Aaron Cosgrave was substituted in for Taylor Golden.
During the 82nd minute, Josh Parker received a fine delivery from midfield, but his attempt veered wide of the far post.
Oxford secured a late corner, coinciding with the fourth official indicating 7 minutes of added time, heightening the tension.
During the added time, Jamie Stott’s cross found substitute Cosgrave and Jack Hunter, who tapped the ball in. However, the goal was disallowed due to a foul on the Oxford keeper.
The final whistle sounded at The Shay, with both sides unable to find a decisive breakthrough, resulting in a 1-1 draw. The Shaymen displayed strength in the first half but were unable to replicate the same level of performance in the latter stages of the match.