A superb battling performance from FC Halifax Town sees them return North tonight with 3 points following a 3-2 triumph at Torquay United. And what a night it was for Jeff King who overturned the disappointment of conceding 2 penalties to score the winner.
Pete Wild was forced into one change from Tuesday’s starting eleven with midfielder Martin Woods forced to sit out of the trip to the English Riviera with a dead leg. And such is the injury situation at the Club the bench only contained 4 players. It certainly wasn’t Riviera weather with The Shaymen playing into a Devon gale during the first half against Gary Johnson’s League leaders.
The hosts enjoyed the majority of possession early in the game with the wind at their backs. Town were content to defend deep and use the counterattack their 4-2-3-1 system allowed. The Torquay danger was obvious, get the ball to winger Ben Whitfield at every opportunity. An early Whitfield cross was cleared by Tom Bradbury and a free kick from Adam Rendell hit the wall. Josh Umerah failed to get on the end of a near post cross as The Gulls pressed forward.
Town’s first shot at goal came from Tahvon Campbell in the 20th minute. The loan striker received the ball from a throw in, turned his man and the shot went narrowly wide from 25 yards out. Torquay striker Billy Waters’ shot following a turn in the box was off target as the game became end to end. Good play by Campbell, Jamie Allen & Kieran Green saw Town win their first corner of the game. Jeff King’s low cross fell to Jack Earing but he couldn’t get his shot away under pressure.
A Torquay free kick led to Town taking the lead. The ball into the Town box was cleared to Campbell who linked up with Allen & King whose cross was parried away by Gulls keeper Shaun McDonald into Sam Sherring and the ball rebounded into the net. The lead was short lived as Whitfield went down under a King challenge on the edge of the penalty area and the Referee deemed the challenge was inside the area and Asa Hall converted to bring the scores level. Town had another chance before the interval with Campbell having a near post shot blocked.
With the wind at their backs Town looked more of an attacking threat after the break. A pair of free kicks in dangerous positions failed to threaten with Ben Whitfield countering with a shot that was saved by Sam Johnson who in the 63rd minute recorded 20,000 competitive minutes in an FC Halifax Town shirt.
Jack Earing’s influence on the game was increasing and he took a Neill Byrne pass, ran towards goal but his left foot shot was over the bar. Jack Hyde, who replaced Danny Williams, was off target following a neat turn on the edge of the box but against the run of play Torquay took the lead when King was adjudged to committed a foul in the penalty area. Hall netted his 2nd penalty of the game, but the visitors weren’t finished with Earing picking up a pass in a central position 40 yards from goal. He headed for goal, but his initial shot was blocked with Byrne & Campbell ensuring the ball found Earing again and his left footed finish brought the scores level.
And the winner game in the 88th minute when Earing & Allen linked up with the ball reaching King. The full back headed in-field scored from 20 yards with a left foot shot. Asa Hall was inches away from completing his hat-trick, but Town saw the game out and return to Yorkshire with a deserved reward for their efforts.
1 Shaun MacDonald, 2 Ben Wynter, 4 Kyle Cameron (11 Jake Andrews 13), 7 Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, 8 Asa Hall ©, 12 Adam Randell, 16 Sam Sherring, 25 Billy Waters, 31 Joe Lewis, 34 Ben Whitfield, 35 Josh Umerah (24 Rob Street 63)
Subs: 18 Olaf Koszela, , 26 James Hamon, 32 Max Sheaf
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jeff King, 3 Jack Senior, 5 Neill Byrne, 6 Tom Bradbury, 7 Jamie Allen, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Jack Earing, 11 Danny Williams (9 Jake Hyde 62), 33 Tahvon Campbell, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 40 Chris Renshaw, 18 Jay Benn, 20 Dom Tear
Goals: Sherring (35 OG), Hall 41 (pen), 71 (pen), Earing 78, King 88
Yellow Cards: Maher 90
Red Cards: None
Torquay United 2 FC Halifax Town 3
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist