FC Halifax Town drew 1-1 at Maidstone United with a last minute goal levelling the scoring.
Town were looking to capitalise on Tuesday’s win over York City as they travelled to newly promoted Maidstone.
Substitute Mani Dieseruvwe had his second half goal cancelled out in the final minute of the game as Roarie Deacon levelled the scoring.
The Town boss made three changes going into the game as Jordan Slew and Jack Hunter come into the side. Captain Tom Clarke returned to the starting line-up for the first time since he was struck down with an injury earlier in the season.
Maidstone showed their attacking threat from kick-off. Jack Barham was handed the ball inside the box, and he fired a shot away. The shot didn’t test Sam Johnson in the Town net as the ball sailed wide of the goal.
Town had their first chance in the sixth minute. Jamie Cooke made a run forward and passed to Kian Spence who was making a run into the box. The Maidstone goalkeeper was able to intercept, and he kicked the ball out for a Town throw. Moments later, Hunter found himself in the referee’s book after receiving a yellow card for a challenge on James Alabi.
Rob Harker went close to opening the scoring from a free kick on the 11th minute. Luke Summerfield’s free kick met the head of Jesse Debrah who flicked on to Rob Harker. His header went wide of the post. Maidstone had an instant reply as Deacon brought the ball down and had a shot on goal. His effort was blocked and cleared away by the Town defence.
Just before the half hour mark, Deacon looked to be charging down the wing but Tylor Golden managed to get back to put in a brilliant tackle to deny the hosts of shot. Town then went on the counter; Cooke got the ball into a dangerous area, and he unleashed a shot on goal. Mersin was able to make the save and deny Town the opener.
Regan Booty had the best chance of the half for Maidstone. Deacon cut the ball back to Booty, who looked to be free inside the box, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Town had the final chance of the half as Rob Harker’s head successfully met a cross into the box. However, his effort went straight at the Maidstone keeper.
In added time, Dylan Barkers received a yellow card for a late challenge.
Town started the second half on top. Summerfield’s free kick is taken quickly to meet the head of Harker. His curling effort was tipped just over the bar by Mersin. Just a minute later, Cooke’s pass finds Summerfield who shoots but his effort goes wide of the post.
Maidstone were the first of the two sides to make a change. Dom Odusanya came on in the place of Barkers. The substitute finds himself in the book for a late challenge just ten minutes later.
In the 61st minute, the hosts push forward but the cross into the box is intercepted by the Town skipper who cleared the ball away.
Chris Millington made his first change as Harker made way for Dieseruvwe. Meanwhile, Alabi made way for Christie Patterson with 25 minutes to play.
The Shaymen opened the scoring on the 67th minute mark. Spence was handled the ball 30-yards out from a clever forward pass. Spence picked out Dieseruvwe on the edge of the box. He charges into the box and Mersin comes out to make the save but he diverted the ball past him to give Town the lead.
Jordan Slew was then replaced by Milli Alli as a like-for-like change for The Shaymen.
Just before the 75th minute, the goal scorer found himself in the book for what the referee deemed to be timewasting.
Maidstone then made their final change, Josh Fawole came on for Barham.
With just over ten minutes left to play, Deacon received a yellow card for a late challenge on the touchline.
Alli almost doubled the lead with ten minutes to go. He made a bursting run down the left and shot an effort goalward. However, it clips the post and goes out for a goal kick. The hosts offer an instantly reply as Joe Ellul has a go at goal. However, his header goes wide.
Alli then met the same fate as Dieseruvwe as he is also booked for timewasting.
Town made their third and final change with just two minutes of normal time to play. Sam Smart came on down the right to replace Cooke.
It was a gut-wrenching end to the game for Town as Deacon levelled the scoring on the 90th minute. Johnson originally made the block to keep Maidstone out, but a goalmouth scramble allowed Deacon to tap the ball in to level the scoring.
The fourth official gave five minutes added on but there was nothing Town could do to regain their lead.
Next up for The Shaymen is FA Cup action away to St Ives next Saturday with a 3pm kick-off.
30 Yusuf Mersin, 2 Gavin Hoyte ©, 3 Ryan Galvin, 4 Joe Ellul, 7 James Alabi (17 Christie Pattison 63), 8 Sam Corne, 10 Jack Barham (16 Josh Farwole 75), 12 Jacob Mensah, 15 Regan Booty, 21 Roarie Deacon, 22 Dylan Barkers (14 Dominic Odusanya 53)
28 Harley Earle, , 19 Hady Ghandour
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Tylor Golden, 3 Jack Senior, 15 Tom Clarke ©, 5 Jesse Debrah, 14 Jack Hunter, 4 Luke Summerfield, 8 Kian Spence, 19 Jamie Cooke (11 Sam Smart 89), 25 Jordan Slew (21 Milli Alli 72), 17 Rob Harker (9 Mani Dieseruvwe 64)
Subs: 20 Harvey Gilmour, 22 Festus Arthur
Referee: Gary Parsons
Goals: Dieseruvwe 66, Deacon 90
Yellow Cards: Hunter 7, Barkers 45, Odusanya 61, Dieseruvwe 72, Deacon 79, Alli 83
Red Cards: None
Maidstone United 1 FC Halifax Town 1
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