24th Oct 2020 Mens 2nd v Halifax 1s(Away) 2 - 2 draw

Halifax set up with their traditional smash and grab tactics, not only did this involve a very strong high press and hitting through the middle, but heavy tackles and defending. Rhydding took time to adjust to the pitch, although not raining the surface played like a soggy damp carpet, slowing ball speed and snagging sticks. Halifax opened up the scoring early into the first half, closely followed by link up play through the middle to Carrick Matthews on the left who cut the ball back across goal for MOTM Joe Braithwaite to snooker it over the line.

Rhydding stepped up their intensity with Thomas Burton & Ian Thomas marshalling the midfield, Halifax never entered the D much holding & passing round the back before reverting to hit and hope tactics, these were well read by Mark Horseman, stepping through on multiple occasions to intercept. High work rate from Tommy Hagan, Rob Elsworth & Carrick Matthews in front of Tom Burton who has an ability to keep the ball glued to his stick no matter the pressure, created countless attacks and drives into the D, skill and commitment saw them riding heavy tackles and obstructions, to which should have won more cards, shorts and flicks than were given.

The rain had started to fall heavily and just before Half time, Josh Till having received a heavy tackle and a hooked leg, reacted to the onslaught, luckily receiving no repercussions from the umpires other than a talking too and the half time break to calm down.

The second half started fast with Barnaby Walsh and Joe Braithwaite putting in leg work to tire the Halifax defence. Joe using his strength repeatedly beat his to man the ball before driving into the D, unleashing a slap across goal that ricocheted of a defender and in. Rhydding where comfortably holding the game, but the intense rainfall & heavy tackles were starting to take its toll, Rhydding started turning the ball over giving Halifax more opportunities to smash and grab. Leading to Halifax cut through the sleeping midfield and previously solid centre back pairing with a few 1-2’s. Powell out wide left, seeing the danger coming down the right, put in the leg work to get back to cover, the Halifax player skirted right across the pitch towards the edge of the D, across Powell's run, a heavy touch by the attacker setting up for a 1-1 on shot on goal resulted in Powell (for once resisting diving in), overrunning on the wrong side, standing on back of the outstretched attacking stick and shoeing it off the back line (just to make sure). After a delayed the umpires presented a yellow card, and the following short corner was dealt with.

A rare short corner saw josh Till put a low drag on goal, the keeper getting a diving glove to it somehow squeezing the ball into the turf bouncing it over the cross bar. Halifax then repeated the trait at the other end but this time Powell running 1 deflected it over. Into the dying minutes and still 2-1, saw the ball put onto the outstretched leg of an attacker, deemed high (debatable), Halifax took the free hit, smashing it straight in, Rhydding not sensing the danger let the hit straight through into the D where two un opposed attackers pounced on the rebound from Josh Hughes to push it into the goal.
Rhydding raced the restart back into the Halifax D winning a short corner, going for a ‘Bradders’, Ian Thomas riffled a shot in, missing a chance for a deflection of the injector it hit the outside edge of the goal and off the back line. Final score 2-2.