FC Halifax Town succumbed to a 2-1 loss to league leaders Torquay United, in a spirited performance at The Shay.
Despite a Jamie Allen goal levelling out an early strike from Torquay captain Asa Hall, a late goal from Connor Lemonheigh-Evans gave the visitors all three points.
The first real opportunity came in the 7th minute as Jamie Allen carved out a good chance for the Shaymen. The forward linked up with Jake Hyde on the left-hand side of the penalty area and found some space for a shot, but dragged it wide, failing to make the goalkeeper work.
The Gulls began to grow into the game after an early Halifax spell, and were rewarded with a goal in the 17th minute. Ben Whitfield picked up the ball on the left and fired a low cross towards the edge of the penalty-area, and captain Asa Hall was on hand to fire the ball past Sam Johnson and give the visitors the lead.
In what was a cagey first-half, clear-cut chances were few and far between for both sides. On the half-an-hour mark, Asa Hall fired a shot from distance that didn’t trouble Sam Johnson, with the ball going harmlessly wide, before The Shaymen returned fire with a Kieran Green strike from range that was tipped behind for a corner by Shaun Macdonald.
With two minutes remaining in the first half, the Shaymen crafted their best opportunity of the game so far. A deep free kick from Luke Summerfield was met with a Kieran Green header, with the midfielder able to pick out Jake Hyde. The striker rose high but could not quite direct his header, with the ball going just wide of the post. That was to be the last chance of the half, with the score 1-0 to the visitors at the break.
After a bright start to the second half, The Shaymen had their equaliser in the 53rd minute. A flick on from Jake Hyde played through Jamie Allen, who found himself in on goal, and the forward did brilliantly to find the bottom corner with a right-footed strike, and score his second goal in as many games.
The game became much more open after The Shaymen’s equaliser, with both sides clearly going for all 3 points. Jamie Allen had another opportunity just minutes after his equalising goal but could not get his shot away, before a Billy Waters effort went wide for the away team, after the striker linked up with Aaron Nemane.
In the 71st minute, The Shaymen could have taken the lead after a great piece of play. Jamie Allen picked out Jack Senior on the edge of the area, and the left-back fired a shot at the Torquay goal, but was denied by a good low save from Shaun MacDonald.
Just two minutes later however, the visitors were presented with a golden opportunity. A mistimed tackle from Tom Bradbury on Aaron Nemane resulted in a penalty, as the referee pointed to the spot. Danny Wright stepped up to take, but the striker blazed it into the North stand with a poor strike.
The chances kept coming for the Shaymen as the second half went on. In the 82nd minute, a Niall Maher effort was well saved by the goalkeeper, and from the resulting corner Tom Bradbury headed just over.
Despite some good opportunities for the Shaymen, it was Torquay’s late goal against the run of play that ultimately decided the game. A long ball found Connor Lemonheigh-Evans inside the area, and the midfielder was able to turn and fire into the top corner, giving the visitors the ascendancy once more.
The Shaymen remained undeterred following the goal, and still pressed forward in search of an equaliser. Despite spending considerable time in the Torquay half, the all-important chance never came, with the game finishing FC Halifax Town 1-2 Torquay United.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 4 Nathan Clarke, 5 Neill Byrne, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green (10 Jack Earing 65), 9 Jake Hyde, 19 Luke Summerfield, 26 Martin Woods, 31 Niall Maher (15 Gevaro Nepomuceno 84)
Subs: 12 Harrison Davison-Hale, 20 Dom Tear, 32 Neil Danns
1 Shaun MacDonald, 2 Ben Wynter, 4 Kyle Cameron, 6 Garry Warren, 7 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 8 Asa Hall ©, 9 Danny Wright (11 Jake Andrews 86), 16 Sam Sherring, 23 Aaron Nemane, 25 Billy Waters (35 Josh Umerah 74), 34 Ben Whitfield
Subs: 5 Fraser Kerr, 22 Owen Price, 33 Lucas Covolan
Referee: Simon Mather
Assistants: Nicholas Hawksby / Paul Ince
Fourth Official: Lewis Dawson
Full Time: FC Halifax Town 1 Torquay United 2
Goals: Hall 17, Allen 53, Lemonheigh-Evans 83
Yellow Cards: Maher 26, Byrne 40, Cameron 78
Red Cards: None
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