FC Halifax Town moved into the Vanarama National League play-off places after a brace from striker Tom Denton saw them come from behind to defeat AFC Fylde 2-1 at The MBi Shay Stadium.
After a goalless first half, Fylde took the lead through last season’s Vanarama National League North top goal-scorer Danny Rowe whose chipped finish broke the deadlock.
But, Town responded superbly and quickly equalised through Denton’s header before the striker scored the winner twenty minutes later with a bending shot.
Fylde ended the game with just ten men after substitute Matt Blinkhorn was shown red for an alleged stamp in the final few minutes.
Victory for Town sees them now undefeated in their last four matches and move into seventh place in the table, just four points adrift of league leaders Dagenham and Redbridge
Town started the game brightly and although they conceded much of the possession they had the better chances on the opening 20 minutes
After just eight minutes, Dion Charles cut inside from the left wing before drilling the ball inches wide of the Fylde goal.
Less than ten minutes later, Adam Morgan went close as he forced goalkeeper Rhys Taylor into a superb finger-tip save to deny his delicate effort from the edge of the penalty area.
Fylde’s best chance of breaking the deadlock came through a Halifax player as a long thrown in from Josh Ezewele was met by Denton but the striker’s attempted clearance hit his own crossbar.
The visitors finished the half strongly and striker Rowe, who scored the winner in the side’s last meeting at The MBi Shay in April, had a trio of good chances. Rowe curled a shot wide of the far post from the edge of the area midway through the half before he again went close from a free kick 25 yards out.
The Coasters’ number nine then nearly opened the scoring with the final kick of the half. Rowe moved past two defenders on the touchline before cutting onto his right hand and bending the ball high and over the far post.
Fylde picked up from where they left off and begun strongly at the second-half restart. James Hardy twice went close in the space of a few minutes after the midfielder struck the ball over before then shooting straight at Johnson in the penalty area.
The pressure from the away side paid off however as they took the lead through Rowe in the 56th minute. A neat through ball from Montrose in the middle played through the striker who delicately chipped the ball over the onrushing Johnson for his third goal of the season.
Halifax responded immediately however and equalised just a minute later. Morgan’s cross from the right-hand side hit the crossbar and landed kindly into the path of Denton who headed into the net from just a few yards out.
Both sides exchanged chances in the next ten minutes with Hardy threatening with a high bending shot before Connor Oliver’s half-volley forced Taylor into a good stop to his left.
With 14 minutes remaining, Town took the lead with Denton completing his brace with a stunning second goal. Denton held the ball up nicely from a long pass before exchanging passes with Josh MacDonald and Ben Tomlinson. MacDonald then teed up Town’s top-scorer on the edge of the area and he applied the finish with a bending strike in the far corner.
Town managed to hold on to the victory in scrappy final ten minutes with centre backs Brown and Scott Garner heading clear some dangerous crosses.
The away side finished the game with ten men after substitute Blinkhorn shown a straight red card for an alleged stamp in the 92nd minute.
FC Halifax Town: Johnson (GK), Wilde, Brown, Garner, Hotte, Denton, Oliver, McManus, MacDonald, Morgan, Charles
Subs: Nicholson (GK), Lynch, Tomlinson, Dixon, Clarke
AFC Fylde: Taylor (GK), Montrose, Tunnicliffe, Bond, Hardy, Finley, Rowe, Muldoon, Grand, Ezewele, Burke
Subs: Lynch, Richards, Blinkhorn, Smith, Jones
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