Shay point puts Blues back in chase

TRINITY manager Steve Housham declared himself happy with the point that lifted his side back into the play-off positions following their 2-2 draw at FC Halifax on Tuesday.

After falling behind to Lee Gregory’s seventh minute opener the Blues fought back with goals from Saturday’s match-winner Andrew Boyce and Paul Connor.

And it looked as if those goals would be enough to give Gainsborough their first success on the road since beating Corby in early December, until Simon Garner levelled with 15 minutes remaining.

It does however, move Trinity back into the play-off positions in Blue Square Bet North at the expense of Nuneaton.

Substitute Leon Mettam was introduced as early as the 35th minute and added more potency to the Blues attack after Housham made the decision to sacrifice left-back Lee Ridley.

Housham said: “It was a good, hard earned point after a disappointing first 25 minutes and we needed to change something.”

“We started poorly and were not at the races and I feel like it worked (when we brought Leon Mettam on.)”

“I hold my hands up and I got it wrong to start but I don’t like changing formations to compete against other teams. Something needed doing tonight because we were getting overrun.”

Housham’s tactics seemed to have worked when Mettam burst down the left and squared to Connor, who netted just before the hour to put Gainsborough 2-1 ahead.

But the former Brigg Town chief admitted he was slightly disappointed that his side could not hold out to avenge their Boxing Day defeat against the Shaymen.

He added: “We’ve come away happy with a point but we probably could have won because they’ve got a bit of a flukey goal at the end.”

“I’m disappointed for them that they didn’t get the three points because I wanted to come here and get back the points we lost at our place.”

Third-placed Halifax had the chance to move up to second in the table and Gregory’s curling effort from the edge of the area certainly set them on their way.

In truth, the Shaymen could have easily extended their lead but for some last-ditch defending and one fine save from Michael Emery.

But Boyce’s far post tap-in on the stroke of half-time must have put a different slant on Housham’s team talk and a different Trinity side emerged after the break.

Full of confidence and ideas, the visitors deservedly edged ahead through Connor’s 58th minute effort which rounded off some excellent build-up play.

The hosts went looking for an immediate response and Jason St Juste and Cameron Darkwah went agonisingly close with strikes that rolled inches wide of the same left-hand upright.

On that evidence, Simon Garner’s equaliser was probably justified even if it came with a huge slice of luck.

James Dean showed good strength in the Trinity penalty area but when his shot ricocheted off two Blues shirts it fell perfectly for Garner to smash home past Emery.

To their credit both sides went in search of a winner, Ryan Kendall’s neat turn and shot had Town stopper Simon Eastwood scrambling to his right while Danny Lowe came within a whisker of stealing all three points with a vicious shot which shaved the foot of the post.

Gainsborough entertain fellow play-off hopefuls Altrincham on Saturday.

FC Halifax Town: Eastwood; Ashworth (Hatfield 67), McManus, Needham, Hogan, Lowe, Garner, Toulson, Holland (Darkwah 59), Gregory (St Juste 33), Dean. Subs (not used): Senior, Foster.

Gainsborough Trinity: Emery; Watts, Sandwith, Cowan. Boyce, Clarke (Leary 77), D’Laryea, R. Williams, Kendall, Connor, Ridley (Mettam 35). Subs (not used): Yates; McMahon, Roma.

Referee: P. Davison.

Assistants: M. Connell, I. Johnstone.

Goals: Gregory 10, Garner 74; Boyce 45, Connor 58.

Attendance: 1,300.