FC Halifax Town ran out 3-1 winners in an inspired home victory against Southend United.
Billy Waters netted his fourth goal in five games, as Jordan Slew and Niall Maher also scored in a commanding victory.
The first sight on goal came just 4 minutes into the game, as Jack Bridge’s teasing cross was put narrowly wide by Southend forward Rhys Murphy.
After a succession of corners, Captain Niall Maher glanced the ball on at the near post, but Jesse Debrah was accused of fouling his man as he looked set to head Halifax into an early lead.
Southend’s first moment of sustained pressure came just after the twenty-minute mark, with Maher blocking well from a Jack Bridge effort, before both Sam Dalby and Rhys Murphy fired tame efforts towards Sam Johnson’s goal. Southend’s best chance of the game came a few minutes later, as another good Jack Bridge delivery missed everyone in the box.
As Halifax burst forward in an attempt to break the deadlock, Jay Benn was caught late on the edge of the box by Harry Phillips, which saw the fullback forced off the pitch through injury. The resulting freekick was headed narrowly wide by the retreating Shrimpers’ defence.
Halifax Town saw their pressure count, as a brilliant ball into the box by Tom Bradbury was poked home by Jordan Slew. The fullback’s cross was sublime, leaving Jordan Slew free to fire in his second goal of the season.
The second half could not have started better for Pete Wild’s men, as Billy Waters headed in another sublime cross from the left-hand side, this time Jordan Slew delivering the crucial pass. Waters has now scored 4 goals in 5 appearances for the Shaymen.
Halifax looked to add to their lead almost instantly as Jordan Slew raced onto a Green through ball, but the ball was collected by the Southend goalkeeper, who saw himself booked for a push on Billy Waters.
Phil Brown turned to his bench in a triple substitution which saw Egbri, Hobson and Atkinson enter the field for Southend. However, it was Halifax who created the next opening, with Matty Warburton miscuing his effort with acres of space around him.
A real moment of controversy came just after the sixtieth minute, with Jordan Slew and James Dunne coming together off the ball. Both players were shown yellow cards, with Nathan Ralph also booked for his part in the scuffle.
The tempo of the game was beginning to slow before Southend centre-half Josh Coulson caught Waters late in a promising position. The resulting freekick saw Captain Niall Maher rise highest to score his first goal of the season. Maher capped an impressive display with his headed effort.
Pete Wild made his final substitution of the game in the seventy-sixth minute, with midweek loan signing Jack Vale replacing Harvey Gilmour, who was lively on the flank for Town. He was involved within minutes of his introduction, playing a ball just behind Billy Waters as he looked to break through on goal.
Southend pulled a consolation goal back with two minutes to go, as Rhys Murphy converted Jack Bridge’s law cross at the back post. But the Shaymen always looked comfortable, with Niall Maher and Jesse Debrah controlling the backline, the latter celebrating his new contract with the club in style.
Referee Andrew Miller was busy in the centre of the field today, brandishing 10 yellow cards in what proved to be a feisty affair.
The players were met by a standing ovation as the full-time whistle blew, with every single player playing their part in a fantastic team performance.
FC Halifax Town will be looking to build on the back of this impressive performance, as Pete Wild’s men travel to play Boreham Wood next Tuesday.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jay Benn (21 Tyrell Warren 30’), 5 Jesse Debrah, 6 Tom Bradbury, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Matty Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 20 Harvey Gilmour (22 Jack Vale 76), 25 Jordan Slew (7 Jamie Allen 70), 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 17 Kian Spence, 18 Javid Swaby-Nevin
13 Harry Seaden, 3 Nathan Ralph, 6 Josh Coulson, 7 Jack Bridge, 8 James Dunne, 9 Rhys Murphy, 10 Sam Dalby, 14 Nathan Ferguson (5 Shaun Hobson 51) , 16 Harry Phillips (20 Will Atkinson 51) , 24 Jason Demetriou, 40 John White © (11 Terell Egbri 51)
Subs: 23 Collin Andeng Ndi, 30 Matty Dennis
Ref: Andrew Miller
Goals: Slew 39, Waters 48, Maher 73, Murphy 88.
Yellow Cards: Harry Phillips 28, Kieran Green 35, Harry Seaden 49, Jason Demetriou 59, Jordan Slew 61, James Dunne 61, Nathan Ralph 61, Josh Coulson 72, Jack Bridge 90, Niall Maher 91.
Attendance: 1,959 (419 away)
FC Halifax Town 3 Southend United 1
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