A Matt Harrold goal deep into stoppage time robbed FC Halifax Town of what would have been a hugely deserved victory away at high flying Leyton Orient. The Shaymen had to settle for a 2 v 2 draw at the Breyer Group Stadium after leading 2 v 0.
The game was a contrast of playing styles, the hosts flooding forward at every opportunity using full width of the pitch with FC Halifax Town counterattacking at pace and matching the threat of the hosts. In a blood and thunder encounter there were also 8 bookings, 3 for the hosts and 5 for Town.
Josh Koroma led the way for Orient and he had several efforts at goal early in the game. Sam Johnson was equal to everything thrown at him and from nowhere Town took the lead. A long Johnson kick was flicked on by Manny Duke to Matty Kosylo who beat his man and shot but if was cleared off the line back to Duku who bundled the ball into the net from close range.
Orient responded with wave after wave of attacks. James Brophy was a constant threat on the wing and Johnson had to be alert on a few occasions and form a Brophy cross he pulled off a great save low to his right when the ball broke to Macaulay Bonne.
With half time approaching it appeared that Town would head to the dressing rooms with a 1 goal advantage. They did, but a goal for each side in injury time resulted in a 2 v 1 lead for Jamie Fullarton’s team. From a long Sam Johnson kick the ball broke to Devante Rodney on the right side of the area 20 yards from goal. The Salford loanee cut inside and unleased an unstoppable drive into the top corner that left Dean Brill stationary in his goal.
But Orient went straight to the other end and in a pivotal moment in the game Koroma fired high into Sam Johnson’s net from 20 yards.
The 2nd half continued in a similar vein. Orient were held at bay by a Town rear guard which was superbly protected by Josh Staunton. On the break Town were a threat and one rapid attack left Matt Kosylo in on goal, but his left footed lob failed to hit the target.
With 15 minutes to go Orient threw on tall forward Matt Harrod and from his knock down Brophy brought a superb save from Sam Johnson. Pressure continued to mount and with 4 of the 5 additional minutes of stoppage time played Matt Harrold scrambled the ball home from close range following a goal mouth scramble.
So, Town head back North with a point for their endeavours. Sometimes you don’t always get what you deserve, and today’s is possibly one of those occasions. But what the game did show is that on their day FC Halifax Town can more than match what this division has to offer.
Leyton Orient: 1 Dean Brill, 3 Joe Widdowson, 4 Alex Lawless (James Dayton), 6 Josh Coulson, 8 Craig Clay, 9 Macauley Bonne, 15 Dan Happe, 16 James Brophy, 19 Josh Koroma, 22 Charlie Lee (18 Matt Harrold), 30 Jay Simpson
Subs: 24 Sam Sargeant, 2 Sam Ling, 10 Jordan Maguire-Drew
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Matty Brown, 6 Josh Staunton, 7 Matty Kosylo, 8 Cameron King, 18 James Berrett, 34 Manny Duku (Scott Quigley), 35 Devante Rodney, 39 Joe Skarz, 40 Jacob Hanson
Subs: 21 Shaun Rowley, 10 Jonathan Edwards. 19 Jordan Preston, 33 Ryan Gondoh
Goals: Duku 10, Rodney 45, Koroma 45, Harrold 90
Yellow Cards: Berrett, Skarz, Coulson, Staunton, Lawless, King, Widdowson, Rodney
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 5458(184 away)
Latest Score: Leyton Orient 2 FC Halifax Town 2
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