FC Halifax Town were defeated 1-0 in the first home game at the Shay since May and the majority of the 1774 crowd will wonder how after a one-sided game in blistering hot weather.
It was Chris Millington’s first time as manager on home soil and he made changes from the opening day defeat at Barnet with Jesse Debrah, Sam Minihan, Luke Summerfield and Milli Alli all making their first starts of the season.
However, despite dominating the game, it was the visitors who return south with all three points thanks to Brett McGavin’s goal late in the first half.
Town had the first opportunity from a set piece on 8 minutes. Harvey Gilmour’s low ball to Luke Summerfield at edge of the box was just over the bar before a second corner into the box was met by the head of Jesse Debrah who could only direct his header at Mark Halstead.
Alli looked bright and direct, and his first effort came on 16 minutes after receiving the ball from Gilmour, but his effort was wide of the target
A flick from Gilmour took him past Ryan Hanson and his flicked shot was just past the post and would have had Halstead struggling to save his effort.
Mani Dieseruvwe got himself to the by-line and won a corner, which was cleared out, the ball back in was headed by Debrah straight at Halstead
Both sides took advantage of the water break, and the game became scrappy, but Town continued to create chances. Debrah had another effort at the far post but could only find the side netting, then Jordan Slew had a header go straight at Halstead.
The home side’s best opportunity was just before the break, Jack Senior’s cross missed Mani Dieseruvwe but found Milli Alli at the back post but he fired over the bar from inside the six-yard box.
Town were made to rue all the missed chances with Torquay’s only chance of the first half. Dean Moxey’s long throw was flicked on by a Town defender into the path of Brett McGavin and he turned inside the six-yard box to fire home the only goal of the game.
Torquay started the second half on the front foot, Tom Lapslie forced Johnson into a save at his near post.
A Luke Summerfield corner was headed down and Tom Clarke’s effort was over the bar before Slew had an effort from 35 yards out for a goal kick.
Further efforts for Jordan Keane, Alli and Dieseruvwe all went wide of the target
Referee Paul Marsden turned down strong appeals for a penalty, Mani Dieseruvwe had his shirt clearly pulled in the box, also a challenge on him but gave a freekick just outside the box which saw Summerfield’s effort deflected out for a corner, but a goal kick was given.
Alli had another effort at goal but was parried away by Halstead, Dieseruvwe had another effort blocked and then shot wide after a good dummy by Harker.
Summerfield forced Halstead into a one-handed save, then he turned another effort over the bar from a Dieseruvwe effort and Torquay were able to claim all three points.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Sam Johnson, 24 Sam Minihan, 3 Jack Senior, 15 Tom Clarke, 5 Jesse Debrah, 16 Jordan Keane (14 Jack Hunter 90), 4 Luke Summerfield, 20 Harvey Gilmour (11 Sam Smart 82), 9 Mani Dieseruvwe, 21 Milli Alli, 25 Jordan Slew (17 Rob Harker 63)
Subs: 2 Tylor Golden, 19 Jamie Cooke
1 Mark Halstead, Dylan Crowe, 4 Tom Lapslie, 6 Ross Marshall, 7 Ryan Hanson, 8 Asa Hall ©, 14 Brett McGavin, 15 Ben Wyatt (26 Nelso Iseguan 58 – 11 Kieron Evans 71) 16 Shaun Donnellan, 19 Will Goodwin, 24 Dean Moxey
Subs:, 22 Rhys Lovett, 23 Ollie Tomlinson,
Referee Paul Marsden
Goals: McGavin 45
Yellow Cards: Donnellan 60, Evans 78, Hughes 86, Marshall 87, Hanson 90
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 1774 (135 away)
FC Halifax Town 0 Torquay United 1
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