FC Halifax Town fell to their second defeat in their last ten games, as they lost 1-0 away to Torquay at Plainmoor.
However, following Woking’s defeat to Bromley, the Shaymen have mathematically confirmed their place in the National League next season.
This long-distance clash was the Shaymen’s fourth game of the week and they went into this game unbeaten in the previous three, with wins over Boreham Wood and Sutton and a 2-2 draw at Gateshead.
The Shaymen welcomed back Matty Kosylo to the starting eleven, following his late, dramatic winner off the bench in that stalemate against Gateshead on Thursday.
McManus also returned to the back four for Jamie Fullarton, following an injury sustained to Josh Wilde in that game against the Heed.
Torquay started the game stronger, with extended spells of possession in the Halifax half throughout the first period.
Healey got the first shot of the game for the Gulls, but his weak effort was never going to trouble Sam Johnson in the Halifax net.
Town were reckless at times, with three players receiving bookings in the first half.
Graham went into the book early for his late challenge on Healey, before being joined by Kosylo and Tomlinson for similarly rash challenges inside the Halifax half.
Johnson showed his commanding presence between the sticks as he has done all season, with two strong saves to deny Connor Lemonheigh-Evans twice from close range.
The Shaymen struggled to create many, if any, clear cut chances in the first period, with the closest they came to score coming from an unlikely Scott McManus.
He picked the ball up around 30 yards from goal and unleashed a rocket towards the top corner that wasn’t far away, mere inches over Vincent Dorel’s crossbar.
Town showed a potential threat on the counter attack, with Kosylo and Thomson looking lively in possession, but Fullarton’s side just struggled to find the final ball.
Fondop-Talom struggled to make much of an impact, coming into this game with three goals in his last three appearances for the Shaymen, being well marshalled by Josh Gowling in the Torquay defence.
Torquay took the lead little over ten minutes into the second half, with Reid’s volley deemed to have crossed the line despite Johnson’s best efforts.
Halifax grew into the game but still struggled to create chances in the second half, with fatigue looking to be taking its toll on the Shaymen.
The Gulls continued to come forward looking for a second, Healey nearly scoring one of the goals of the season however he couldn’t get a strong connection on his acrobatic effort.
Town were forced to see out the remainder of the game with ten men, as Tomlinson was shown a second yellow for his late challenge on Young, giving the Shaymen an even tougher task.
Fullarton made positive changes, bringing on Hanley and Hibbs for Thomson and Hotte but it proved to be in vain, with neither having a strong enough impact on the game.
Duckworth nearly stole a point for the Shaymen late on, as he latched onto Kosylo’s poke forward but was crowded out in the box as he looked to shoot.
A disappointing day at the office for Town who will now be able to enjoy a long-awaited break and can turn their attention to the test of Tranmere next Saturday.
Fullarton’s side will be looking to cause another upset to a promotion chasing side and will be fresh and raring to go following the week’s break.
30 Vincent Dorel, 3 Liam Davis, 5 Sean McGinty, 6 Josh Gowling, 8 Luke Young, 19 Jamie Reid (24 George Dowling 77), 21 Aaron Barnes, 26 Conrad Balatoni, 28 Rhys Healey (10 Ruairi Keating 84), 29 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 39 Brett Williams
Subs: 17 Tommy O’Sullivan, 18 Yan Klukowski, 20 Neal Osborn
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 7 Matty Kosylo, 8 Nathan Hotte (20 Jake Hibbs 81), 11 Scott McManus, 14 Ben Tomlinson, 21 Sam Graham, 22 Michael Collins, 23 Connor Thomson (32 Raheem Hanley 70), 31 Niall Maher, 33 Mike Fondop-Talom, 39 Michael Duckworth
Subs: 6 Scott Garner, 10 Connor Oliver, 13 Tom Nicholson, 20 Jake Hibbs
Goals: Jamie Reid 58
Yellow Cards: Sam Graham 16, Matty Kosylo 31, Ben Tomlinson 39, Connor Lemonheigh-Evans 67, Scott McManus 73, Ruairi Keating 89
Red Cards: Ben Tomlinson 74
Attendance: 1567 (132) away fans
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