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FC Halifax Town 0-0 Fleet

A point at the Wham Stadium took the Fleet to a final-day showdown with Boreham Wood as the relegation fight in the National League goes down to the wire.

Fleet’s second goalless draw of the season means a draw or win will secure the club’s place in the division for 2024/25 in what will be an unbelievable climax to the current campaign on Saturday.

Tonight’s rearranged fixture saw Shaq Coulthirst return to the lineup following his recall from a lengthy loan spell at Braintree Town and he replaced Dominic Poleon, who dropped to the bench. In Fleet’s other change, Franklin Domi came into midfield at the expense of Billy Clifford.

Halifax got a clear sight of goal early on with Max Wright pinging a shot across the Fleet goalmouth which was cleared but only as far as Jack Evans whose effort from the edge of the box flew wide.

The Fleet’s closest chance came with a shot from an acute angle from Shaq Coulthirst but that was wide. Ben Chapman’s corner was then headed over by Tommy Fogarty in a solid opening 15 minutes for the Fleet.

Halifax upped their intensity as they earned several half chances but without a real threat against Mark Cousins. The home side’s Wright carried the ball down the flank and delivered a ball into the box that Jamie Cooke arrived and hit first-time but somehow missed the target from a few yards out. Wright then had a chance of his own from the edge of the area but rocketed that one over.

Adan George was on the end of a Halifax free-kick on the half-hour but miskicked his opportunity before Adam Senior went close from another wide delivery as the home team looked to work the channels.

The best chance came on 35 minutes when Halifax’s Wright slid an effort into the side netting from a dangerous ball across the Fleet six-yard box.

The visitors had to wait until just before half-time for another try, a throw-in allowing a quick one-two between Myles Kenlock and Rakish Bingham. Chapman collected but drilled his shot just wide.

Shaq Coulthirst started his first game for the Fleet since September

There was a strong opening to the second-half for the hosts when Cooke escaped the offside trap to race through and he found himself one on one with Cousins. The Fleet keeper did superbly to tip the ball over the bar but the referee awarded a goal kick, leaving Halifax fans furious.

A corner for the Fleet just before the hour mark connected with the head of Declan Skura but his bullet header went straight into the gloves of Sam Johnson.

Cousins was out to block a ball after a spell of Halifax pressure around the Fleet box on 66 minutes and 12 minutes after that, he was able to reach for Jack Evans’ cross, gathering that at the second try. In between, Domi tried to play a ball through the box to his two strikers but it wouldn’t stick for them.

Halifax continued to press for the goal that would help their play-off hopes and Evans smashed a dangerous ball across the Fleet box with 10 minutes left but there was no-one to meet that.

In time added on, Poleon had a late shot that was deflected out for a corner that took up the remaining time to land the Fleet a clean sheet and a point.

EUFC: Cousins, Kenlock, Fogarty, Skura, Bilongo (Cundle 67), Chapman, Wright, Domi (Clifford 83), Edser, Bingham, Coulthirst (Poleon 79). Subs: Sterling-James, Tanner
FCHT: Johnson, Golden, Scott, Senior, Evans, Summerfield, Thompson-Sommers, Jenkins (Harker 73), Wright, George (Oluwabori 64), Cooke (Hoti 83). Subs: Hunter, Cosgrave
Attendance: 1,351 (59 EUFC)

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