FC Halifax Town drew 1-1 with Southend United in the Vanarama National League.
However, it was the away side that looked strong in the opening minute with Jack Bridge having an early shot that was high and wide.
Town responded straight away with Rob Harker receiving a long ball from midfield, but a heavy touch eased the ball into the hands of Southend ‘keeper Collin Andeng-Ndi.
On the other end, there was a moment of concern for the Shaymen as Sam Johnson was involved in a collision whilst clearing a throw in. The home fans were relieved when the Town goalkeeper could carry on.
Referee Paul Marsden was at the centre of controversy in the opening 20 minutes after ignoring a blatant handball which raised anger from the home fans.
Both teams seemed to be locked in a stalemate, but Southend looked to have the best chance of the first half with a dangerous cross from the right-hand side meeting the head of Ollie Kensdale, but the effort was skewed wide of the far post.
Andrew Oluwabori looked to start a counter attack for the Shaymen but was taken down by Southend midfielder Cavanagh Miley in the 32nd minute. The first to be booked in the game after a rash challenge on the Town winger. Jack Hunter was added to the referee’s book a few minutes later in the 35th minute.
The momentum shifted towards the away side once again as they won a corner in the dying minutes of the first half, but the Shaymen displayed some strong defending to deal with the threat.
Southend were looking dangerous in the opening minutes in the second half with Wesley Fonguck breaking the deadlock in the 51st minute.
The visitors looked to double the lead after a soon after, but Cummings displayed brilliant defending to prevent a second goal.
Town were reduced to 10-men in a bizarre incident, with referee Paul Marsden sending Luke Summerfield off despite initiating contact the Town midfielder’s face.
Chris Millington responded with immediate effect subbed on Jack Evans for Oluwabori in the 56th minute.
Jack Hunter tried an audacious overhead kick to square the game but hardly challenged Andeng-Ndi.
Southend subbed off Nathan Ralph for Jason Demetriou in the 70th minute. Town also subbed on Aaron Cosgrave in the 73rd minute for Tylor Golden.
Moments later, Alli produced the best chance for the Shaymen with a long range effort tipped out for a corner. Town took the chance with both hands as Stott’s low cross met Adam Senior at the back post to tap in the equaliser to bring The Shay back to life in the 74th minute.
However, Harry Cardwell looked to retake the lead with a cross to Callum Powell who fired over from close range.
Southend made two changes in the final 15 minutes with goalscorer Fonguck was subbed off for Dan Mooney in the 76th minute and Jack Wood being subbed on in the 85th minute as both sides were both seeking a late winner. 8 minutes were added onto the 90.
Cosgrave looked to start a counter attack in stoppage time but found himself booked instead. Town made their final sub with Jimiel Chikukwa being subbed on for Rob Harker.
However, the final whistle blew and both sides shared the points at The Shay. After looking down and out after the bizarre red card, Town showed fighting character to snatch a point.
FC Halifax Town are back in action next Saturday at home to Dorking Wanderers with a 3pm kickoff time.
FC Halifax Town
1 Sam Johnson ©, 2 Tylor Golden (19 Aaron Cosgrave 73), 3 Ryan Galvin, 5 Adam Senior, 23 Jo Cummings, 6 Jamie Stott, 8 Jack Hunter, 4 Luke Summerfield, 22 Andrew Oluwabori (12 Jack Evans 56), 11 Millenic Alli, 9 Rob Harker (20 Jimiel Chikukwa 90)
Subs: 12 Jack Evans, 25 Tom Wilson
30 Collin Andeng-Ndi, 2 Gus Scott-Morriss, 3 Nathan Ralph (24 Jason Demetriou 70), 8 Noor Husin, 16 Harry Taylor, 6 Ollie Kensdale, 7 Jack Bridge, 17 Cavanagh Miley, 18 Wesley Fonguck (10 Dan Mooney 76), 9 Harry Cardwell, 11 Callum Powell (14 Jack Wood 85)
Subs: 28 Oliver Coker
Referee: Paul Marsden
Goals: Fonguck 51, Senior 74
Yellow Cards: Miley 32 Hunter 35, Ralph 62, Cosgrave 90
Red Cards: Summerfield 56
Attendance 2103 (316 away)
FC Halifax Town 1 Southend United 1
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