FC Halifax Town recorded a 1-0 win away at local neighbours Rochdale in their first visit since 2002 for a second away victory of the season in the Vanarama National League.
Town boss Chris Millington made three changes to the 0-0 draw against Gateshead with Millenic Alli, Luke Summerfield, Rob Harker all coming into the starting XI.
The only goal of the game came on 22 minutes from top goalscorer Rob Harker who was on hand to tap home Angelo Cappello’s low cross in front of 722 travelling fans for his third of the season.
The Shaymen started brightly and forced an early corner with Jack Evans ball in cleared to the edge of the box, Adam Senior got a cross into the box but was too close to Rochdale goalkeeper Louie Moulden.
Dale responded with their own corner, Senior tackle on Cameron John went out for a set piece, it was taken short, and Town blocked the cross for a 2nd corner. The ball cleared at the near post as Town showed good organisational skills at the back.
Town’s first opportunity came from a curling shot from Andrew Oluwabori from distance was tipped onto the bar and out for a corner. The ball in was cleared to Summerfield, his cross blocked for another corner. Ball played short to Summerfield, cross claimed well by Moulden.
A Jamie Stott clearance found Andrew Oluwabori; he ran at goal, but his shot was blocked at the edge of the box as Town looked for the opening goal of the game.
The home fans weren’t happy with the referee a foul by Tylor Golden who collided with a Dale man, referee Gary Parsons spoke to the Town defender, but no card given despite the freekick going Dale’s way.
A long ball from Johnson found its way to Cappello, his cross into the box was a dangerous one which needed a touch, but no one was able to apply the finishing touch.
Play was stopped for treatment to Adam Clayton who went down under a challenge with Angelo Cappello, but he was able to continue following lengthy treatment.
The Shaymen took the lead on 21 minutes through Rob Harker. Cappello won the ball on the left and his cross was met by Rob Harker who tapped home for the only goal of the game.
Dale fans weren’t happy when Cameron John became the first man in the book for a foul on Golden when Golden was not booked minutes earlier.
Cummings won the ball in his own half, and he was able to go the length of the pitch, he found Evans jinked into the box but Dale able to clear inside the six-yard box.
A lovely ball out wide from Summerfield for Golden, cross in looked in for Harker challenged with the keeper and Alli went for the rebound but a freekick was given inside the box for the home side.
A driving run by Oluwabori who picked up on another loose ball in midfield, saw him brought down 30 yards from goal, Luke Summerfield’s freekick was deflected clear by the wall.
The home side kept going and a ball played in behind the Town defence from Ryan East to Kairo Mitchell on 40 minutes, his shot on the left-hand side in and but Johnson able to save.
Town nearly had a second goal just before the break, a low ball into the box was met by Rob Harker and his effort was saved by Moulden and fell to Evans who could only find the side netting.
Rochdale down the left again, the low ball from Sinclair in was begging to be tapped home but went out harmlessly for a goal kick.
Again, down the left-hand side, Rochdale cut inside, and low drive saved by Johnson as the fourth official signalled 4 minutes of injury time to be played.
There was still time for another opportunity at the end of the first half, Town worked the ball from Alli to Evans, the shot was deflected out for a corner with the referee waving away appeals for handball in the box. The ball into the box was flicked on and Moulden palmed the ball out for a corner on the opposite side. The ball played back to Summerfield; the cross was met at the far post by Harker but couldn’t get his header on target.
The home side looked for an equaliser on 55 minutes, a cross into the box was met by Ian Henderson and Johnson was forced to turn around the post for a corner. The ball into the box was headed narrowly wide by Ethan Ebanks-Landell
The pressure kept on coming from Dale, a long ball forward for Mitchell and the shot was blocked well for a corner by Adam Senior. The ball into the box found its way to the edge of the box and the shot was wide of the target.
The crossbar denied the Shaymen a second goal when Cappello’s cross was deflected by Jimmy Keohane as the game became end to end.
Town worked the ball down the right-hand side and Golden was able to find Oulwabori, but his shot was over the bar from the edge of the box.
Alli cut inside from the right, he fired his shot low and saved by Moulden.
Oluwabori was brought down under a challenge off the ball but the referee away his appeals.
Town boss Chris Millington made his first change of the game with Jack Hunter on for Jack Evans with just under 15 minutes remaining at the Crown Oil Arena.
A second substitution followed as Ryan Galvin came on for the injured Angelo Cappello who had been down needing treatment by the physio.
With time running out, the home side made a double change of their own with Tommy McDermott and Maxwell Conway on for Adam Clayton and Kyle Ferguson, before Town’s final change saw Max Wright on for Millenic Alli
Wright was released down the left; he was checked by Ebanks-Landell but despite the appeals nothing was given
Oluwabori picked up a loose ball and had no options ahead of him, so he continued himself and won a freekick just outside the box with Ebanks-Landell into the book on the 90th minute.
The freekick was delayed as Luke Summerfield needed to be helped off the pitch holding his hamstring and Town had made all three changes so Town looked like they had to play the six minutes of injury time with 10 men. Jamie Stott fired the freekick into the stand behind the goal.
Rochdale forced a corner as Summerfield came bravely back onto the pitch, the ball into the box was headed over the bar by Ebanks-Landell.
The final whistle went and Town had a first win at the Crown Oil Arena since the 13th January 2001.
1 Louie Moulden, 3 Cameron John, 4 Ryan East, 6 Ethan Ebanks-Landell, 7 Tyrese Sinclair, 8 Adam Clayton (14 Tommy McDermott 84), 9 Kairo Mitchell, 13 Jimmy Keohane (16 Kwaku Odoroh 66), 20 Harvey Gilmour, 24 Kyle Ferguson (21 Maxwell Conway 84) 40 Ian Henderson
Subs: 5 Max Taylor, 15 George Nevett
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson ©, 2 Tylor Golden, 7 Angelo Cappello (3 Ryan Galvin 78), 6 Jamie Stott, 5 Adam Senior, 23 Jo Cummings, 4 Luke Summerfield, 12 Jack Evans (8 Jack Hunter 76), 1 Millenic Alli (17 Max Wright 85), 22 Andrew Oluwabori, 9 Rob Harker
Subs: 16 Jordan Keane, , 19 Aaron Cosgrave
Referee: Gary Parsons
Goals: Harker 22
Yellow Cards: John 23, Alli 61, Gilmour 82, Ebanks-Landell 90, Sinclair 90
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 3491 (722 away)
Rochdale 0 FC Halifax Town 1
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