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No classic, but Heed defence holds firm again; National League.

GATESHEAD were involved in their second goalless draw of the bank holiday weekend when they were held at home by Halifax Town, writes JEFF BOWRON.

The Tynesiders have yet to concede a a goal in their four home games, and the newly-promoted Shaymen are still to concede on their travels.

It was also an eighth draw from nine meetings between the two sides. Though this one was arguably the most forgettable. The Heed were fortunate to still be on level terms at the break after Halifax hit both post and bar.

Scott McManus also wasted a golden opportunity on the stroke of half-time when played in by Matty Kosylo.

Gateshead had struggled for any fluidity but should have taken a 36th-minute lead through former Shayman Jordan Burrow.

In a rare move of quality Jamal Fyfield's reverse ball saw Jordan Mellish pick out the unmarked Burrow centrally positioned sixyards out.

It looked a certain goal but the striker headed down the middle of the goal where former Gateshead keeper Sam Johnson tipped over spectacularly.

Earlier, Kosylo's thunderbolt from outside the box crashed against the post with Tynesiders keeper James Montgomery beaten.

Montgomery was then forced off with a shoulder injury after clashing with Halifax's big number nine Tom Denton.

Former Carlisle goalkeeper Dan Hanford deputised, and his first act was almost to pick the ball out of the net.

Adam Morgan's superbly struck 30-yard free-kick crashed against the bar in another escape for the Tynesiders.

While the first half hadn't been a classic the second 45 minutes was worse.

Russell Penn produced what little creativity Gateshead mustered, and it was from his through-ball that Paddy McLaughlin had a goalbound shot blocked. Halifax were then reduced to 10 men after 66 minutes when Kosylo was sent off for a second yellow after a late challenge on Callum Williams. In a rare Town raid, substitute Ben Tomlinson slid wide at the near post, Heed substitute Luke Hannant firing over at the other end.

Hannant then forced a diving save from Johnson after a good move down the right and then Burrow shot over on the turn.

A stalemate, however, was inevitable, meaning Gateshead end the opening month in sixth place with the best defensive record in the league.

Gateshead: Montgomery (Hanford 23); Williams, Vassell, Byrne, Fyfield, Mellish (Hannant 46), Penn, McLaughlin, Preston (York 63), Burrow, Peniket Subs not used: Tinkler, Johnson Halifax Town: Johnson, Moyo (MacDonald 35), Wilde, Brown, Garner, McManus, Kosylo, Hotte, Oliver, Denton, Morgan (Tomlinson 55) Subs not used: Lynch, Nicholson (gk), Charles Referee: Andrew Miller (Durham) Attendance: 1,118

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Former Heed shot-stopper Sam Johnson saves brilliantly from Jordan Burrow's close-range header ROB CHAMBERS

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 29, 2017
Words:445
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