After 2 tough away games, the supporters team AFC Halifax were back in action, and on home soil too when they welcomed Chester FC Supporters to Lightcliffe Academy. Buoyed by recent performances against 2 of the best sides in the IFA League in Rochdale and Preston respectively, AFC were in confident mood heading in to the fixture. There was a confidence in the air and for one particular player, a touch of excitement. Martin â€˜Chesterâ€™ Lukowski started training with AFC Halifax in the summer but is actually (The clue is in the name) a Chester fan! When work moved him from Cheshire to Yorkshire he was looking for a supporterâ€™s team to play for as he enjoyed playing in the good spirited IFA and AFC took him in with open arms. Gaffer Barker referred to Saturdays match as Martins â€˜Special Dayâ€™. Stewart â€˜Bobbyâ€™ Heaton was dishing out the fines with great satisfaction until somebody pointed out Stewart himself had actually put his training top on back to front.
With injuries and work commitments still besieging the goalkeeping department, David Sutton still recovering from his 4 fractures in his face and 2 Sugars working, in stepped Peter Jennings to don the gloves. In the absence of Captain Adam Ramsden on the sidelines due to Dentists Orders, John â€˜Munesâ€™ Luders was given the captains armband and once heâ€™d taken 12 selfies and ensured they were loaded to several social media sites, he led the team out.
With the teams out on a crisp December morning, AFC kicked off proceeding. Gaffer John Barker had instructed his team to show the desire and commitment they had in the previous weeks and to try and play expansive football from the back. Within 10 minutes AFC were behind. A shot from the edge of the box deflecting off Barker and wrong footing Jennings in the goal. The thought was that this would be the wake up call AFC needed and there was indeed another goal. However it was the visitors who scored once again, catching out the AFC defence and leaving Jennings no chance. With AFC creating little and losing out on most loose balls it was no surprise that Chester took a 3 goal lead into the break, a fantastic save from Jennings found its way to the loitering Chester striker to tap in.
The half time team talk wasnâ€™t pretty with a lack of effort and desire being the main talking points. The team had 10 minutes to put that right before changes would be made. Unfortunately for AFC, they started the 2nd half just as they had finished the 1st and it was soon 4-0. Changes were made with Luders and Nathan Wright being replaced by Andy Hemblys and Tom Ashton. Luders made a hasty exit presumably to take some more changing room selfies. The official word was he â€˜had plansâ€™ none of which were mentioned before or since. The changes seemed to spark a bit of life into the game but it wasnâ€™t long before Chester added a 5th, Jennings again making a great save but Chester were quicker to pick up the pieces and fire the ball home. 5 became 6 as the nippy Chester striker who had caused problems all game broke away and added the icing on the very large cake. By this point Martin â€˜Chesterâ€™ Lukowski had been introduced to a chorus of boos from the travelling Cestrians and Adam Ramsden came on against Dentists orders. The game seemed to be petering out until Ashley Addy was unceremoniously taken out by the Chester midfielder. Outrage in the Halifax ranks with Fullback Chris Peacock exclaiming 'he's got work in the morning!' Referee Lou Casalino had it all in hand though and gave a Chester throw in. There was still time for Martin Lukowski to shine and he was at the centre of a great piece of sportsmanship. With a clear sight on goal and with his AFC teammates waiting for the net to bulge he decided to just chip the ball in to midair for the Chester 'keeper to mop up. AFC did get a consolation goal when good movement from Ramsden was spotted by Addy and he slotted home under the 'keeper.
A poor performance with lack of effort the main point of gaffer Barkers debrief. Nobody could argue with that apart from maybe Si Noble who once again put a tremendous shift in and looked like he was in need of a good lie down.