FC Halifax Town produced a stunning second half comeback against Notts County, despite a man disadvantage for most of the last fourty-five minutes.
The Shaymen fought from two goals down to claim all three points in an exhilarating affair which saw five goals, one coming in the one-hundredth minute.
The first chance of the game fell to the away side, with Callum Roberts’ low cross being met by Aaron Nemane, who’s ball back into the Town 6-yard box was hooked clear by Niall Maher.
But it was the Shaymen who would create the next opening, Kian Spence collecting the ball from a Warren throw-in before skipping past two Notts County defenders. His powerful strike was just wide of Patterson’s goal.
In an end-to-end opening ten minutes, Notts County midfielder Jim O’Brien collected the ball on the edge of the Halifax box, but his powerful strike was comfortably collected by Sam Johnson.
Jack Senior created the next opening in the game, playing a one-two with Jordan Slew before hanging a teasing cross towards the back post. Adam Chicksen was forced to head the ball behind for a Town corner, with Waters lurking behind him. In the nineteenth minute, Senior was involved again, this time his cross found Jamie Allen, who’s shot at goal hit Waters before rolling out for a goal kick.
With both teams evenly matched, it was Notts County’s turn to attack. Matty Palmer did well to take the ball past Senior, before delivering a ball into the Shaymen box. The attempted clearance fell straight to Callum Roberts, who’s powerful effort slammed narrowly over the bar. From the goal kick, County won the ball back, but former FC Halifax Town striker Kyle Wootton could only fire the ball into the stands.
The games opening goal came in the thirtieth minute when Notts County played a long ball forward, which Sam Johnson attempted to come and clear. However, he was beaten to the ball by Ruben Rodrigues, who’s lobbed effort from around 35 yards beat Johnson and bounced into the back of the net.
As the Shaymen went in search of a quick response, Niall Maher’s through ball was dummied by Allen, which allowed Billy Waters to bear down on goal. County initially dealt with the danger, but as Town recycled the ball, Billy Waters’ low shot was saved by Anthony Patterson. The visitors took a 1-0 lead into the break.
The first booking of the game came just as the second half began; Aaron Nemane brought Kieran Green down as he looked to break forward. Jack Senior was then shown a yellow card a minute later, as Jim O’Brien just beat him to a loose ball.
Tyrell Warren was then shown yellow for a foul out on the touchline, and the resulting free kick was headed into the back of the net by Alex Lacy, County seemingly in the ascendency.
Straight from kick off, Ruben Rodrigues caught Tom Bradbury with a late challenge, with the Town man reacting to what he felt was a serious offence. Referee Garreth Rhodes deemed Bradbury’s reaction to be worthy of a red card, with Kyle Wootton also shown a yellow for his part in the resulting melee.
But despite the man disadvantage, FC Halifax Town looked the more likely to score. Kian Spence had an effort from the edge of the box blocked out for a corner, as the Shaymen dominated the latter stages of the game.
A sublime piece of individual brilliance came in the seventy-ninth minute, as Jordan Slew collected the ball on the edge of the area, before unleashing a powerful effort into the bottom left corner. Patterson stood no chance, as the Shaymen’s brilliant effort was rewarded.
It became increasingly difficult to tell who was playing with ten men, as Town continued to stream forward, substitute Gerry McDonagh leading the bulk of the relentless attacks.
Town continued to dominate, and as Elliot Newby swung a brilliant ball into the Notts County box, Billy Waters expertly volleyed home his eighth goal in ten games, sending the Shaymen fans into raptures. A seemingly impossible comeback point was on the cards, as goal-machine Waters continued his mesmerizing touch in front of goal.
A crazy game was made even more unbelievable as ten minutes of added time was allocated. Town were almost left heartbroken, as Notts County scrambled a ball home from a corner kick, but referee Rhodes awarded a free kick, much to the relief of most of the stadium.
As Town looked set to earn a well-deserved point, a stream of players came forward in search of a winner, which despite the man disadvantage, did not seem unlikely. Kieran Green made two fantastic tackles as County looked to break Town hearts, before Johnson atoned for his earlier error by keeping out a header which looked destined for the bottom corner.
But as the game reached minute one hundred, Town fans were sent into dreamland, as substitute Matty Warburton collected the ball on the edge of the area, before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner. The full-time scenes were simply stunning, as FC Halifax Town moved up to third after a memorable night at the Shay Stadium.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen (24 Elliot Newby 62), 8 Kieran Green, 11 Billy Waters, 17 Kian Spence, 20 Harvey Gilmour (10 Matty Warburton 62), 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (15 Gerry McDonagh 80), 31 Niall Maher ©.
Subs: 16 Dom Tear, 18 Javid Swaby-Neavin.
Notts County: 25 Anthony Patterson, 2 Richard Brindley (16 Dion Kelly-Evans 77), 6 Jim O’Brien, 9 Kyle Wootton ©, 10 Callum Roberts, 11 Aaron Nemane (19 Elisha Sam 87), 18 Matty Palmer, 20 Ruben Rodrigues (7 Kairo Mitchell 80), 22 Ciaran Brennan, 23 Adam Chicksen, 24 Alex Lacy.
Subs: 14 Ed Francis, 17 Frank Vincent.
Ref: Garreth Rhodes
Goals: Rodrigues 30, Lacey 57, Slew 79, Waters 86, Warburton 90 + 10
Yellow Cards: Nemane 50, Senior 51, Wootton 60, Waters 86, McDonagh 92.
Red Cards: Bradbury 60
Attendance: 2023 (447 away)
FC Halifax Town 3 Notts County 2
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