FC Halifax Town sink to their second consecutive loss after a frustrating 1-0 defeat to top of the table Harrogate.
Jack Emmett’s second half thunderbolt was the difference on what was a tough afternoon for both sides at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Harrogate came to spoil the party and were well regimented from the start stopping the league’s top scorer Tom Denton from being his usual bullish self.
Throughout the early stages neither side managed to take control of the game.
Richard Peniket’s spin and shot from the edge of the area was the only chance of the first twenty minutes. The number 11 was given space to turn on the ball but curled his effort just wide of the far post.
Anyone drifting off in the stadium sunshine was woken up by the Shaymen faithful’s shout for a handball just before the half hour mark.
Josh MacDonald twist and turned his way into space down the right and crossed deep to Denton. The target man managed to stoop low and direct a header at
Harrogate defender Simon Ainge. The home fans screamed for a penalty but the referee patted his chest in denial.
Moments later and Denton was on hand again to register what would be the first half’s only effort on target. His header was tame and easily saved by Peter Crook in a half where the referee’s failure to let the game flow frustrated everyone but Harrogate manager Simon Weaver.
Halifax began the second period by giving away numerous unnecessary free kicks in dangerous positions and were nearly punished five minutes after the break. Substitute Andi Thanoj was just a glancing header away from the away side the lead.
The visitors only grew into the second half and broke the deadlock on the stroke of the hour. Jack Emmett slalomed his way down the right flank before unleashing a thunderous shot off the crossbar and into the net. Harrogate had the single goal that their game plan required.
Throughout the afternoon Harrogate marshalled the league’s top scorer Denton brilliantly and made certain that his aerial threat was kept under control meaning Halifax were forced to search for a plan B, a plan B that was never clear to see.
Heath was forced to respond. Jake Hibbs impressed the travelling Shaymen at Fylde on Saturday and was introduced in place of the injured Josh Wilde along with Connor Hughes who was given the nod ahead of last season’s top scorer Jordan Burrow.
With ten minutes’ left Halifax were presented with a golden opportunity to draw level. Denton again was the man in front of goal as the ball landed into his path but the striker could only watch his effort trickle agonizingly wide of the near post. It would be Town’s final clear cut chance of the game.
The full-time whistle was met with boos from the home fans. Heath’s Halifax will next head to Telford on Saturday with the hope of turning defeats into wins.
FC HALIFAX TOWN
Drench; O’Brien, Hone, Garner, Wilde; MacDonald, Roberts, Sinnott, Kosylo; Peniket, Denton.
Subs: Nicholson, Burrow, Hughes (73′), Hibbs (45′), Hotte (61′).
Yellows: Hone 46′, Hotte 82′
HARROGATE TOWN AFC
Crook; Colbeck, Turner, Burrell, Ainge, Sheils, Kerry, Leesley, Pittman, Platt, Emmett.
Subs: Chilaka (90′), Robertson (62′), Thanoj (38′), Ellis, Stewart.
Goals: Emmett 63′.
Yellows: Ainge 35′, Turner 53′
Attendance: 1,965 (97 away).
Man of the Match: Matty Kosylo
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