FC Halifax Town got back to winning ways after a fortnight off with a 2-0 home victory over Tamworth.
The returning Matty Pearson broke the deadlock in the opening 15 minutes, before a Lois Maynard wonder goal sealed it in the second half as the Shaymen recorded home league win lucky number 13 of the season
Neil Aspin made two changes to his well-rested side, who hadn’t played competitively in over two weeks, as Pearson and Adam Smith replaced Simon Lenighan and the suspended Josh Wilson.
The opening ten minutes were scrappy, and besides a couple of long range pop shots from Lee Gregory, very little occurred. Indeed, it was the visitors who came closest early on, as Matthew Godden’s free kick whistled past the post with Glennon beaten.
Town woke up, and after a good spell of control, came very close to opening the scoring. Ryan Crowther’s whipped in ball found the head of Lois Maynard, but his effort ballooned over.
Midfielder enforcer Matty Pearson made his return after suspension, and he was the next to worry the Tamworth goal as his long range effort fizzed past the near post.
But he wouldn’t miss next time. After good link up play from Ryan Crowther and Lee Gregory, Pearson picked the ball up on the edge of the area and fired past the helpless Cameron Belford to give the Shaymen an early lead.
Town continued to build on their excellent start, but Tamworth very nearly levelled soon after. A hopeful looped ball to the back post found Aimson, and his looping header forced a fine save from Matt Glennon.
Town were right back on it soon after, and somehow did not double their lead in a frantic three minute spell. First Adam Smith’s header forced the best out of Belford, before Crowther and Smith again both tested the Tamworth stopper soon after.
Matthew Barnes-Homer was playing his third game at the Shay this season for his third different club, and very nearly made a positive impact for his new team, but a Simon Ainge block denied him when he looked almost certain to score.
Town’s momentum fizzled out as the half wore on, and Tamworth very nearly equalised before the break. The tricky Andy Howarth beat James Bolton on the left hand side, and his drilled cross was spilled by Glennon, but just out of reach of Jordan Keane, who would have had an open goal at his mercy had the ball fallen to him.
The same 22 that left the field re-entered after the break, and the Lambs nearly hit back early on. A fantastic cross field ball by Richards-Everton found Godden, but his volley flashed wide with only Glennon to beat.
Town’s early intensity had long since vanished, but Adam Smith attempted to relight the fuse. He took on Richards-Everton and whipped a ball in, but the advancing Marc Roberts was unable to make contact, despite his best efforts.
The Shaymen were really lacking drive in the first period of the second half, and this forced boss Aspin into a change, as Marlon Jackson replaced the ineffective Ryan Crowther.
Goal scorer Matty Pearson was booked for a fairly inoxious challenge in the first half, and was very lucky not to be given his marching orders after a series of robust challenges.
The game had really fallen flat, and it took something outrageous to light it back up. Lois Maynard picked the ball up halfway into the Tamworth half, and after taking a couple of touches, he unleashed an absolute pile driver into the top left hand corner to double the Shaymen’s lead.
Top scorer Lee Gregory had been very quiet throughout, but very nearly provided the killer blow. After taking a ball down, he wiggled his way into the box, and laid a perfect ball off to Pearson, but his low drive was well blocked by Belford.
Town, reinvigorated, continued to probe, and nearly added a third courtesy of a magnificent team move. Simon Ainge’s skill set up Marlon Jackson, and his fired shot was tipped over by Belford. The aforementioned Ainge thought he’d scored from the resulting corner, but somehow the ball was smuggled away from the goal line by the desperate Tamworth backline.
Pearson nearly bagged another late on with a dipping drive from the edge of the box, but the excellent Belford tipped it over and two was enough for Town in the end.
FCHT: Glennon; Bolton, Ainge, Roberts, McManus; Maynard, Pearson, Marshall; A. Smith (C. Smith 70), Crowther (Jackson 63); Gregory (c)
Subs: Senior, Lenighan, Jackson, C.Smith, Challinor
Goals: Pearson (14), Maynard (68)
Yellow Cards: Pearson (45)
Tamworth: Belford, Evans, Richards-Everton, Kerry, Godden, Todd (Peniket 60), Aimson, Howarth, Barnes-Homer, Mahon (c), Keane
Subs: Reindorf, Baker, Peniket, Richardson, Belford
Yellow Cards: Mahon (67)
Attendance: 1313 (51 from Tamworth)
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