FC Halifax Town were held to a point in the Vanarama National League, with a 1-1 draw against Eastleigh at The Shay.
A first minute Tobi Sho-Silva header was the difference between the two sides until the 55th minute, when Reda Johnson rose highest in the box to power home his own headed effort.
Town started the game in spectacular fashion. Josh MacDonald won a corner on the right hand-side after taking on Joe Partington, with the kick being taken by Liam McAlinden. He picked out Sho-Silva, who snuck in front of his marker to beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
The visitors’ first chance came in the 17th minute. Jack Payne floated in a free-kick midway into The Shaymen’s half, and picked out Johnson, however the centre-back wasn’t able to direct his header towards goal.
Town were enjoying the majority of possession, with the next opportunity coming I nthe 23rd minute.Cameron King played in Liam McAlinden inside the area, who found himself one-on-one with Max Stryjek in the Eastleigh goal, but the keeper was able to produce a fine stop to keep the scoreline 1-0.
Town were punished for not making the most of their first half opportunities, as 10 minutes into the second half Eastleigh levelled the scoring with a corner routine of their own. Payne took the corner from the right and was able to pick out the tall Johnson, who freed himself from his man and fired a powerful header into the bottom-right corner.
The Eastleigh equaliser sparked new life into the game, with both sides having opportunities to go into the lead.
Town came close just after the hour, as McAlinden flashed the ball across the face of the Eastleigh box from the left. Sho-Silva just needed to get a touch on it to restore Town’s lead, but the striker couldn’t quite get on the end of it and the result was an Eastleigh goal kick.
Just two minutes later came another great chance for Town. Michael Duckworth played in Jamie Allen, who in turn played through Cameron King. King controlled and did well to get the shot away, however he was denied by a fantastic save by Stryjek, who palmed the ball away, and his defenders were able to clear their lines.
The visitors hit back just one minute later from the resulting counterattack and were able to craft a chance of their own. Marcus Barnes picked up the ball just inside the Town area and got a powerful strike away, which went just wide of Sam Johnson’s far post.
The chances continued to come for Eastleigh, and they really should have taken the lead in the 70th minute. Barnes found Sam Smart eight yards out with a low cross from the left, but the midfielder somehow managed to fire well over, keeping the scoreline at 1-1.
With five minutes remaining, there was a huge penalty shout for The Shaymen as McAlinden was brought down clumsily in the area.
McAlinden was stopped from getting his shot away in a promising position, however the referee wasn’t convinced and, much to the frustration of the Town fans, signalled that there was nothing wrong with the challenge.
The final chance of the game fell to Charlie Seaman for Eastleigh, who got a powerful shot away 20 yards out after some good link up play with Payne. Johnson was able to tip the ball over however, and the game finished 1-1, with Town having to settle for a share of the spoils.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Michael Duckworth, 3 Jerome Binnom-Williams, 5 Matty Brown, 10 Cameron King (20 Jeff King 76), 11 Tobi Sho-Silva, 14 Josh Staunton, 15 Liam McAlinden, 17 Josh MacDonald (7 Jamie Allen 58), 22 Charlie Cooper, 31 Niall Maher
Subs: 12 Will Appleyard, 6 Liam Nolan, 21 Danny Williams
1 Max Stryjek, 2 Joe Partington, 4 Rob Atkinson, 5 Reda Johnson, 6 Andrew Boyce, 8 Jack Payne, 9 Scott Rendell, 11 Sam Smart (22 Charlie Seaman 88), 17 Cavangh Miley, 19 Danny Hollands ©, 23 Marcus Barnes (10 Tyrone Barnes 80)
Sub: 13 Ross Flitney, 14 Tom Bearwish, 16 Ben Scorey
Goals: Tobi sho-Silva 1, Johnson 55
Yellow Cards: Boyce (8), Staunton 34, Binnom-Wiliams 70
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1817 (26 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Eastleigh 1
Town make the short trip to Harrogate Town in midweek, for a Tuesday night (19.45) showdown with their Yorkshire rivals in the Vanarama National League.
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