On a hot and balmy Essex afternoon Jamie Fullarton’s team began their 2018/19 campaign with a 2-0 away win at Braintree Town.
It was a even start to the game with Braintree having the lions share of the ball without creating much with it. Dayle Southwell had the first real chance of the game after a great run and cross by Jordan Preston Dayle headed straight at the keeper. Braintree looked threatening on the counter attack as the game developed but the Shaymen’s defence were not to be passed.
Niall Maher tried a cheeky half volley lob from 40 yards, but this was watched safely over his bar by Ben Killip in the Braintree goal.
The game then went through a scrappy phase with FC Halifax Town conceding too many cheap and needless freekicks which negated either team getting the chance to play flowing, cohesive football.
A Braintree move down the right hand side ended up with a great cross in for which Matty Brown stuck out a blocking leg and skewed the ball high towards the Town goal and was well turned over the bar by Sam Johnson.
As the Shaymen grew into the game the chances stated to appear and a Ben Tomlinson corner was turned away from under the crossbar on his own goal line by the home keeper. Next a clearance from Johnson’s hands was flicked on by the head of Tomlinson finding Dayle Southwell in good space but he was narrowly offside. Straight away Braintree countered and a smart move down the left ended with a shot from the edge of the area from Allen going wide of the target
The ball fell sharply to Dayle Southwell who swivelled brilliantly and fired off a shot superbly saved by Killip again high to his right. Clarke had a header cleared form a corner and Tomlinson fired in a shot from a wide angle tipped over by the keeper. From the resulting corner Edwards met the ball well with a powerful header across the Braintree keeper high to his right to put The Shaymen 1 up which was thoroughly deserved as we had grown in to the game as the half progressed.
The second half began as the first ended with FC Halifax Town on top controlling the game and dictating the pace well using excellent game management. Both Tomlinson and Jordan Preston continued to see a lot of the ball and delivered several dangerous crosses one of which was taken off Southwell’s toes by Luke Allen and another cross fizzing across the six yard box begging for a touch from a Shaymen.
Josh Staunton was booked on the hour mark for a foul by match referee Will Finnie after he had deemed to have committed too many offences for the officials liking.
Killip then came to Braintree’s rescue again pulling off a superb save from a Staunton header but Town weren’t to be denied a second goal as defender Nathan Clarke on his competitive debut for his home town club doubled the Town lead on 63 minutes. He headed home a Ben Tomlinson corner on 63 minutes to send the 100 or so Town fans into raptures.
Matty Kosylo replaced goal scorer Jonathan Edwards with 15 minutes whilst Cameron King replaced Jordan Preston with the game already won.
A solid performance with two goals and a clean sheet will have pleased Town boss Jamie Fullarton and the Shaymen will return north with all three points with the visit of Barrow AFC to the MBi Shay Stadium on Tuesday night to come.
Braintree: 1. Ben Killip, 2 Jon Muleba, 3 Pat Webber, 4 Olu Durojaiye, 5 Michael Clark, 6 Josh Hill, 7 Luke Allen (Danny Rowe 69), 20 Henry Ochieng (25 Reece Grant 77), 14 Lyle Della Verde (9 Dan Thompson 69), 10 Mohamed Bettamer, 11 Christie Pattisson
Subs: 23 Mahrez Bettache, 17 Joe Ellul
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 2 Michael Duckworth, 3 Ryan Sellers, 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Matty Brown, 6 Josh Staunton, 9 Dayle Southwell, 10 Jonathan Edwards (7 Matty Kosylo 75), 14 Ben Tomlinson, 19 Jordan Preston (8 Cameron King 81), 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 21 Shaun Rowley, 22 Mekhi McLeod, 40 Jacob Hanson
Goals: Edwards 43, Clarke 63
Yellow Cards: Staunton 60, Bettamer 76
Red Cards: None
Full Time: Braintree Town 0 FC Halifax Town 2
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