Tyrone Barnett’s 59th minute goal was enough for Eastleigh to record a narrow win which ended FC Halifax Town’s 5 game unbeaten run.
The Shaymen’s injury jinx struck again before the visit to Eastleigh with Jack Earing and Tahvon Campbell the latest players added to the injury list. This forced a reshuffle for Pete Wild with Captain Nathan Clarke returning for his first appearance since 28th November 2020 with Niall Maher moving into a midfield role.
The first half saw little in the way of goal mouth action with both defences on top and both goalkeepers largely spectators. Sam Johnson was alert early on to clear after Joe Tomlinson and Tyrone Barnett exchanged passes. Abdulai Baggie’s pace was a threat and he won a free kick which Jack Payne took but the Town defence cleared.
The Shaymen came forward with Jamie Allen winning a free kick in the right but Martin Woods cross was cleared at the near post. Another corner followed after Kieran Green’s almost got Neill Byrne in on the right. Andrew Boyce sent a looping header over the bar from an Eastleigh free kick.
Jeff King found his way into Referee Adrian Quelch’s notebook for an off the ball foul as The Spitfires broke at pace to win a corner. Sam Johnson dealt with the corner and Town broke up-field with Green and Allen linking up to find Billy Chadwick whose low shot was saved at the near post. Niall Maher received an extremely harsh yellow card for a foul as the half ended goalless.
The 2nd period started with Chadwick & Allen linking up but they couldn’t find Kieran Green. And Chadwick was in the action minutes later with a shooting chance that was cleared. Jeff King headed a Tom Bradbury cross wide before Eastleigh took the lead out of the blue. A loose ball broke to Jack Payne and his cross into the box found Barnett unmarked and his finish beat Sam Johnson.
Town tried to find a way back into the game but were repelled by the Eastleigh defence. Chadwick brought a save out of Joe McDonnell in the home goal when he latched onto a loose ball, beat his man but was unable to find the equaliser.
A flurry of yellow cards didn’t help the flow of the game. Niall Maher found Jack Senior in space inside the penalty area but he couldn’t find Jamie Allen and the game ended with a defeat for The Shaymen who now look forward to the visit of League leaders Sutton United to The Shay in a week’s time.
1 joe McDonnell, 24 Tom Blair (11 Sam Smart 74), 2 Joe Partington, 6 Andrew Boyce, 5 Pierce Bird, 17 Joe Tomlinson, 19 Danny Hollands ©, 8 Jack Payne, 7 Abdulai Baggie (9 Dan Smith 89), 10 Tyrone Barnett (14 Tom Bearwish 88), 18 Ben House
Subs: 24 Ross Flitney, 3 Michael Green
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King, 3 Jack Senior, 4 Nathan Clarke ©, 5 Neill Byrne, 6 Tom Bradbury (30 Kian Spence 73), 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green, 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher, 36 Billy Chadwick
Subs: 40 Chris Renshaw, 18 Jay Benn, 20 Dom Tear, 37 Nick Crane
Ref Adrian Quelch
Goals: Barnett 59
Yellow Cards: King 29, Maher 41, Byrne 66, Boyce 73, Spence 82, House 86, Smart
Red Cards: None
Eastleigh 1 FC Halifax Town 0
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