Hall or Nothing ?
0Posted 26th January 2017 - Posted in Match Reports This was a big one for both sides in the race for promotion. After the postponement of their home game against Dronfield due a frozen pitch, Hallam had as many as three games in hand on some of the teams around them. Their opponents Hall Road Rangers were in a similar position but were lying a place and 5 points ahead of Hallam, a win for Hallam then was vital in order to close the gap. Earlier in the season Hallam had won defeated Hall Road by 4 goals to 1 so Rangers would be looking to avenge that today. As you might expect with the league position of the two sides, the early stages of the game were quite cagey. There were a couple of half chances for Hallam but they never really tested the Rangers goalkeeper. Hall Road themselves had the occasional chance but spent much of the first half breaking up Hallam's attacks. The best opportunities in the first half both fell to Hallam in the form of two free kicks taken by Elliot Simpson, the first narrowly going over, while the second forced a good save from the Hall Road keeper. Hallam were then dealt a blow as striker Jake Currie had to be substituted due to injury, he had appeared to be struggling with his shoulder throughout the first half but carried on playing and was replaced just before half time by Tom Roebuck. While he hadn't scored, his presence up front makes him a key player and Hallam would miss the threat his ability to link up play in the second half. The second half started as competitive as the first, the first incident of note being when Hallam winger Matty Ord was fouled on the halfway line. The nature of the challenge , an arm to Ord's neck as he surged past the defender, sent him flying. While the game had seen plenty of tackles, they did seem to be getting worse but the referee only gave the defender a yellow card much to the dismay of the Hallam players, coaching staff and supporters who believed that the card should have been red. Their protests led to two members of the coaching staff being sent to the stands for the remainder of the game. A couple of minutes later Hall Road opened the scoring and again there was a hint of controversy as many believed that the Hallam goalkeeper had been fouled in the build up to the goal, however the referee allowed the goal to stand and Hallam then had a mountain to climb. With a one goal lead Hall Road could sit back and absorb any pressure that Hallam put them under which is what they did. While Hallam did push to find an equaliser, they had no luck and eventually had to resort to playing long balls into the Hall Road box which easily dealt with by the central defenders. As they game neared it's conclusion there was one last chance for each side. Hallam's was an effort from the substitute Savage who fired wide from distance while Hall Road's chance came on the counter attack which forced a good save from Darwent. The game ended 0-1 to Hall Road, who in fairness probably deserved the result having put in a very good performance away from home, while Hallam will be disappointed that a couple of key decisions didn't go their way. However all that matters is the result leaving Hallam 8 points adrift of their opponents and 12 behind Penistone in second, thankfully Hallam have games in hand and will hope to make up ground in the upcoming games.
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