FC Halifax Town were beaten 4-2 by Torquay United at The Shay in the Vanarama National League this afternoon.
A brace from Jamie Reid, a Kyle Cameron header and a late goal from Kalvin Lumbobo-Kalala were enough to secure victory for The Gulls, despite late strikes from Liam McAlinden and Michael Duckworth.
Town were up against it after conceding twice early on, however they showed strength of character in attacking their visitors thereafter – particularly in the second period – but conceded two against the run of play in their own search for goals.
Before Torquay took the lead, the game’s first opportunity was earned by the home side through a well-worked set piece routine in the fifth minute.
Charlie Cooper took a corner from the left and found an unmarked McAlinden on the edge of the box. He steadied himself and got a shot away, but his effort went just over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Torquay took the lead with what was their first real chance of the game. Captain Kyle Cameron rose highest to get on the end of a Jake Andrews corner, to give the visitors the lead with a powerful header that sailed into the top-left corner.
Torquay doubled their advantage in the 17th minute. Frank Vincent advanced forward into the left-hand side of Town’s penalty area and was brought down with a mistimed slide tackle by Jacob Hanson. The referee pointed to the penalty spot, with the resulting kick dispatched into the bottom-left corner by Jamie Reid.
The Shaymen struggled to create chances throughout the first half but did have a penalty shout of their own in the 20th minute. Jack Earing was brought down in the area by goalscorer Cameron after latching on to a through-ball, but the referee was not convinced, and instead gave a Torquay goal-kick.
On the half-hour mark, the visitors really should have made it three. After picking the ball up deep in the Shaymen’s half, Saikou Janneh came forward and found himself one-on-one with Sam Johnson in the Halifax penalty area, however his low shot went just wide of the post.
Town began to create more chances after the restart, and in the early stages of the second period they pressed hard to try and get back into the game.
Their first opportunity came in the 51st minute, as Josh MacDonald put in a cross from the right. McAlinden was in the right position to send it back across the face of the area to Cooper, however the midfielder’s shot was deflected wide.
The Shaymen’s next chance came in the 57th minute, as they continued to put Torquay on the back foot.
Josh MacDonald pushed forward down the right and provided Tobi Sho-Silva with the ball on the edge of the box. Sho-Silva opted to take it first time, and fired the ball towards goal, but his effort went over the Torquay crossbar.
As Town pursued a goal with increased urgency, they were made to pay for over-committing in the 64th minute, as Torquay increased their lead to three against the run of play.
Saikou Janneh flashed a ball across the face of the area, which was deflected and came out for Reid, with the striker in the perfect position to fire into an empty-net.
Despite the three-goal deficit, Town still remained very much still in the game. Their pressure eventually told in the 82nd minute, as Cooper worked some space and played to McAlinden inside the area. He fired a low effort into the far corner to give the Shaymen a lifeline in the game.
However, any hope of a comeback was put to bed in the 90th minute, as a counterattack from a Town corner restored Torquay’s three-goal lead. Reid played in substitute Lubombo-Kalala, who fired past Johnson into the bottom-left corner.
Town struck again at the death to reduce deficit – the size of which was a little harsh given Town’s intent in the second half – as Duckworth got his name on the scoresheet, but Torquay ultimately triumphed 4-2.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Michael Duckworth, 4 Nathan Clarke ©, 6 Liam Nolan (31 Niall Maher 78), 8 Jack Earing (23 Jack Redshaw 69), 11 Tobi Sho-Silva, 14 Josh Staunton, 15 Liam McAlinden, 16 Jacob Hanson, 17 Josh MacDonald (7 Jamie Allen 68) 22 Charlie Cooper
Subs: 12 Will Appleyard, 3 Jerome Binnom-Williams
28 Lucas Covolan, 2 Ben Wynter, 3 Liam Davis, 4 Kyle Cameron ©, 11 Jake Andrews, 14 Frank Vincent (6 Low Lewis 77), 15 Matt Buse, 19 Jamie Reid, 25 Robbie Cundy, 26 Saikou Janneh (20 Kalvin Lumbobo-Kalala 72), 34 Ben Whitfield (5 Jean-Yves Koue Niate 85)
Subs: 1 Shaun MacDonald
Goals: Cameron 8, Reid 17, 64, McAlinden 80, Kalala 90, Duckworth 90
Yellow Cards: Cooper 72, Cundy 73
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 2,065 (213 away)
FC Halifax Town 2 Torquay United 4
Referee: Thomas Parsons
Town are in Vanarama National League action next Saturday as they travel to face Woking at Kingfield Stadium (kick-off 15.00).
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist