For the second Saturday running, Stockport County shared the spoils with former rivals of old – and in front of a passionate crowd that recalled the days of their Football League encounters.
County took almost 1,000 fans to Yorkshire, making up a third of the near 3,000 crowd.
But, having been pegged back three times for a draw by Darlington in SK3 a week previously, the Hatters will feel that the stalemate against the ‘Shaymen’ of Halifax, following their first competitive fixture at The Shay in over 26 years, was a point gained and not two dropped.
County retained a 4-3-1-2 formation from the Darlington match – with just the one change in playing personnel, as Jimmy Ball was recalled to the starting line-up in place of John Marsden.
The first half saw the Hatters enjoy the greater share of possession, albeit with clear-cut opportunities at a premium.
The closest that either side came to threatening in the early stages was through a set-piece – with Ball sending a free kick wide of the left upright, and Matty Kosylo, for the hosts, firing one well over County’s goal.
After 28 minutes, however, Adam Morgan almost showed how it really should be done – and in sensational fashion – when his thunderbolt of a free-kick from 35 yards rattled the underside of the Hatters’ bar before bouncing out to safety.
County came close to scoring shortly after the break when home goalkeeper Sam Johnson, at the near post, momentarily spilled Danny Lloyd’s low drive from the left.
But, for much of the remainder of the contest, the Hatters needed to be resolute in defence, as the Shaymen – with ten goals to their credit over the team’s last two games – enjoyed the better chances on offer.
Halifax broke following a County corner after 72 minutes, and looked set to score as Morgan squared from the left to Kosylo – only for the latter to chip his shot wide of the near post.
Morgan then tried his own luck from distance – firing narrowly over – before, with a minute of normal time remaining, Liam King intercepted a back-pass and rounded Ben Hinchliffe, but saw his shot from the left cleared off the line by Michael Clarke.
Substitute Harry Brazel took his bow in a County shirt just ahead of added time. And the match also marked the final appearance of another midfielder, the popular Gary Stopforth, who, less than 24 hours later would be departing the country to work in Australia.
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Minihan, Duxbury, Montrose, Clarke (Capt.), Smalley, Stopforth, Osborne, Odejayi (Felix, 59), Ball (Ross, 85), Lloyd (Brazel, 90). Unused Subs: Ormson, Marsden.
Attendance: 2,925 (992 away fans).