FC Halifax Town have made history after making it to the 2nd Round of The Emirates FA Cup for the first time in their history, after a dramatic 2-1 win at home to National League outfit Dagenham & Redbridge. Town hosted manager John Still’s side at the MBi Shay following last week’s 0-0 stalemate at Victoria Road.
Winger Matty Kosylo stole the show for the second game in a row when his 90th-minute strike from 25-yards proved to be the difference. A game that was very similar to Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Kidderminster Harriers, Town missed a penalty in the second half before Kosylo entered the field of play to take the plaudits.
Town started the brightest, first when David Lynch’s strike into the top right was disallowed inside thirty seconds. Shortly after, Tom Denton had his powerful header waved away following a tremendous piece of link-up play between Jordan Sinnott and Josh MacDonald.
MacDonald really set the pace in the first ten, creating both disallowed goals, as well as seeing his own thirty-yard strike glide slightly wide of the left-hand top corner.
Both sides really struggled to get going following FC Halifax’s strong start, the game was on a knife-edge with neither side talking the foothold. This was before Denton put away his 14th goal of the campaign with a right-footed strike.
On thirty-five minutes, Wilde and Liam King worked incredibly well together on the left. King whipped the ball into the box and Denton fired the ball toward the right-hand top corner following the Daggers’ headed clearance.
The Town defence was called into action following a relatively quiet half when former Luton Town midfielder Luke Guttridge whipped a cross into the six-yard box. FC Halifax struggled to clear, and Oliver Hawkins fired wide. A real let off for Town.
A subdued start to the second half was sparked to life when Dagenham & Redbridge’s Oliver Hawkins saw red for a deliberate handball. Hawkins, currently the second highest scorer in the National League and makeshift centre-back, didn’t trouble the Town back-four before his move into defence.
The ball was clipped over the top for Alex Simmons, on loan from Lincoln City, who was bundled over by Hawkins before the handball. The referee waved away the initial protests before his assistant flagged for a penalty.
Manager Billy Heath admitted prior to the game that he never watches penalties, and he’ll be glad he had his eyes closed for this one. Mark Cousins saved Sinnott’s strike from twelve-yards, making it two misses in as many games from the spot for The Shaymen.
Saturday’s man of the match, Kosylo, made an immediate impact after replacing Simmons. The winger gave the ball away then handed the Daggers a free kick inside the FC Halifax half.
The former Stockport County winger made up for his sorrows shortly after when he sold a step-over, nutmegged the Dagenham & Redbridge defender and provided King with a chance to shoot from distance.
On seventy-three minutes Dagenham & Redbridge levelled, Corey Whitely buried past Steven Drench when the ball was given away softly in the midfield. Kevin Roberts dived into the challenge on winger Jordan Maguire-Drew, on loan from Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, who slipped Whitely into the Town penalty area.
Town were rewarded for their late pressure, though, when another cross from MacDonald was gathered by the FC Halifax Town midfield. Some delightful intricate passing to keep the ball in a tight area was rewarded when Lynch laid off Kosylo to win it in the final minute, sending the home support into raptures.
FC Halifax Town will face Eastleigh in the 2nd Round of the Emirates FA Cup, away at Ten Acres on Sunday 4th of December.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Steven Drench, 2 Kevin Roberts, 3 Josh Wilde, 4, Liam King ©, 5 Nathan Hotte, 6 Scott Garner, 7 Josh MacDonald, 8 David Lynch, 9 Tom Denton, 10 Jordan Sinnott (Hibbs 73′), 11 Alex Simmons (Kosylo 67′)
Subs Not Used: 12 T.Nicholson, 14 R.Peniket, 15 C.Moyo, 18 R.Barrows
Dagenham & Redbridge: 30 M Cousins, 3 J Widdowson, 4 S Doe (c), 8 F Raymond, 10 L Guttridge, 12 O Hawkins, 14 P Benson, 15 J Maguire-Drew (White 92′), 20 T Hyde, 25 C Whitely, 32 J Staunton
Subs Not Used: 1 E Justham, 34 S Mitchell, 35 H Brown, 36 L Gordon, 37 J Mongoy
Goals: T Denton 35′ and M Kosylo 89′, C Whitely 73′
Yellow Cards: J Maguire-Drew 25′
Red Cards: O Hawkins 59′
MOTM: M Kosylo
Attendance: 1465 (51 away)
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