FC Halifax Town suffered their second successive home defeat since returning to the Vanarama National League.
Despite a resilient second half display, Dover Athletic grabbed the winner through striker Toni Sho-Silva.
The goal came following a late equaliser from Tom Denton, who scored the Shaymen’s first strike of the campaign, which ruled out Mitch Brundle’s opener
Two solid defensive displays on the road would have encouraged the home fans coming into this one, but the first 45 minutes indicated the game may be going towards another goalless draw, with both sides struggling to create any clear-cut chances.
Dover Athletic, however, looked the more likely to score in the first half.
The first half chance of the game came to the visitors, as Giancarlo Gallifuoco half volleyed Mitch Brundell’s corner past the near post of Sam Johnson’s goal.
The next chance then came to Jamie Allen. After some elongated possession within the home side’s area, the ball trickled through a mass of bodies to the number 10, whose shot was saved at close range by the goalkeeper.
For the home fans, it was a frustrating half to watch, as their chances were constantly snuffed out by the Whites’ three-man defence.
Both sides found some space down the wings but any balls into the area were cut out by alert, last ditch defending.
Dover’s Femi Ilesanmi had a cross-cum-shot that threatened to fly into the top corner but sailed over the bar.
Denton will be kicking himself for not opening the account early on, A one-two with Matt Kosylo released Josh Wilde into space, allowing the left back to whip into a ball towards the head of the number 9, but it was slightly too high for the 6-foot 7 striker, as the ball harmlessly looped into the air and was cleared.
Ilesanmi, who was also a constant thorn in Billy Heath’s men’s side, found himself in the box with space, had a shot which skipped along the six-yard box, but no-one could get a touch on it.
As the old cliché goes, however, it was a game of two halves.
What the first 45 minutes lacked in chances, the second did its best to make up for it, starting off with Johnson having to tip Jamie Allen’s long-range curling effort on to the bar.
The Halifax goal replicated a shooting range for a few minutes as Kane Richards then tried his luck from distance, only for it to fizz wide, despite leaving Johnson rooted to the spot.
Half time substitute Josh MacDonald, then made his mark on the game, constantly finding or creating space on the wing, and putting in balls, only for them to be turned away.
You got a sense it was, once again, not going to be Town’s day in front of goal, after Kosylo found himself in front of goal, but what looked like it should be have been a clear strike, ended up getting caught under his foot. He did well to recover, rolling his shot past the Mitch Walker, but Gallifuoco was able to stop the ball getting over the line.
Kosylo then had a flurry of attempts towards the 80-minute mark, finding acres of space outside the opposition’s area, but again failed to hit the target.
Connor Oliver then found himself on the wing and drilled a low cross along the six-yard box, but Adam Morgan failed to get a touch on what would have been a certain goal.
It was a miss that looked like it would cost Town, as Dover Athletic then charged up to the other end of the field, and Brundle got onto the end of Ilesanmi’s floated delivery.
However, as an air of frustration and desperation descended from the stands, Denton nodded in Wilde’s cross as even the defenders came up to attack a throw in.
But, there would be a sucker punch to the gut of everyone associated with FC Halifax Town, as substitute Sho-Silva poked in a corner, that was headed back along the home side’s goal, to make sure his side’s fans can make the five hour journey back to Dover in a good mood
FC Halifax Town:
Johnson, Moyo, Wilde, Brown, Garner, Kosylo, Denton, Oliver, Lynch, Dixon (Morgan 58), Charles (MacDonald 45).
Subs not used:
McManus, Nicholson, Tomlinson
Walker, Passley, Ilseanmi Gallifuoco, Parry, Essam, Richards (Daniel 76), Brundle, Allan, Bird (Sho-Silva 67), Nortey (Pinnock 77)
Subs not used:
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