Halifax Town commenced the new year with a goalless stalemate against Altrincham in the Vanarama National League, in a clash that saw both sides battle for dominance.
The Shaymen opted for significant alterations in their starting lineup, with the absence of Millenic Alli, Ryan Galvin, and Max Wright, who were sidelined due to injuries.
Defender Adam Senior showcased his defensive prowess, notably intercepting a crucial attempt by Altrincham’s danger man, Chris-Conn Clarke.
In the opening 10 minutes, Town had the prime opportunity to take the lead when Andrew Oluwabori seized the ball from Sam Roscoe. However, his shot was aimed straight at goalkeeper Ethan Ross. Oluwabori then tried his luck from a distance, but the shot sailed high over the crossbar.
Despite Altrincham attempting to exploit Town’s lapse in concentration at the back, goalkeeper Sam Johnson and Jordan Keane executed two vital clearances off the line, maintaining the deadlock.
Conn-Clarke continued to pose a threat, but Johnson thwarted his attempt from outside the box.
On the offensive, Senior embarked on another brilliant solo run into the penalty area, but his left-footed effort narrowly missed the far post.
Regan Linney thought he had given the visitors the lead, benefiting from a fortuitous deflection. However, his one-on-one chance went awry as the ball sailed past the far post.
The first half saw bookings for Thompson-Sommers and Matt Kosylo, with the latter receiving a yellow card for disputing a decision with referee Ruebyn Ricardo.
The second half kicked off with Tylor Golden cutting inside the final third, forcing a left-footed save from Ross. Oluwabori set up Florent Hoti, but his first-time shot went wide.
Attempting to exploit the right-hand side, Town saw Hunter’s long-range attempt caught by Ross.
Altrincham made their first substitution, with Liam Brockbank replacing Lewis Baines in the 54th minute. Kosylo’s luck ran out when he received a second yellow card for a poor challenge on Angelo Cappello, leading to his dismissal to the amusement of the home fans.
In response, the Robins made a substitution, introducing George Wilson for Conn-Clarke in the 59th minute.
Town aimed to capitalize on a corner, but Keane’s shot went over the bar. Golden’s dangerous cross met the head of Jamie Cooke, but Ross made a spectacular save at full stretch.
Controversy arose in the 72nd minute when Cappello made a brilliant run down the left-hand side, went down inside the box, but Ricardo chose to book the wing-back instead of awarding a penalty. Simultaneously, Altrincham made their final change, with Dior Angus replacing Linney.
Halifax Town made their second change as Rob Harker replaced Oluwabori in the 66th minute.
In the dying minutes, Thompson-Sommers attempted a long-range shot, met by another exceptional save from Ross, ensuring the away side remained in contention.
With the fourth official adding five minutes of additional time, the final whistle blew, concluding the game in a goalless draw at The Shay. The decision to deny a penalty will likely be the central point of discussion for Town, leaving them the more frustrated of the two sides.