A brilliant brace from substitute Billy Waters saw FC Halifax Town get back to winning ways with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Wealdstone.
Pete Wild made 4 changes to his starting line-up from last weekend’s fixture at King’s Lynn, with Jack Senior, Martin Woods, Billy Waters and Jordan Slew replaced by Jesse Debrah, Harvey Gilmour, Kieran Green and Zak Dearnley, making his first league start for the Shaymen.
The Shaymen came close within the opening minutes, as Harvey Gilmour played a clever lay-off to Matty Warburton just inside the box, with the Town Number 10 ‘s first-time strike cannoning off the post.
Kieran Green made his first start since picking up an injury against Maidenhead in January, and the midfielder could have perhaps counted himself lucky to have only been booked in the 13th minute after a reckless challenge on Alex Dyer left the referee with a decision to make.
Town continued to apply pressure around the Wealdstone box in the opening half hour, with Warburton having another effort from inside the box which only tested Wealdstone keeper George Wickens into a routine save.
Town came close again in the 35th minute. Wealdstone failed to fully clear their lines when defending a corner, and as the ball ran loose around the edge of the box, Gerry McDonagh launched an effort towards bottom right-hand corner of the Wealdstone goal, forcing a full-stretch Wickens into making a fine stop.
Wealdstone lacked attacking threat in the opening period and the Shaymen had by far the better of the first half, but a goal continued to elude Town and the sides went in level at the break
The visitors perhaps mustered their most meaningful attack to that point in the opening 5 minutes of the second half, as Charles Claydon carried the ball down the left before his driven ball into the six-yard-box was cut out by Sam Johnson. Town quickly worked themselves another opportunity a minute later, though again Warburton’s effort was straight at Wickens.
Billy Waters replaced Dearnley just inside the hour, and the substitute didn’t wait long for his first attempt, hooking a half volley from the right hand side of the box over the bar.
There was even less time to wait before Waters would have another shot on goal, and this time the Shaymen’s top-scorer would make it pay. Wickens spilled a Tyrell Warren cross into the path of Waters, who cut inside the defender and had an easy task to firing past the stranded Wickens for his nineteenth goal of the campaign.
Town had another goal-bound shot turned over the bar on the 69th minute, with Gerry McDonagh’s strike from the edge of the box deflected onto the roof of the net by a Stones defender.
Waters doubled the Halifax advantage on the 75-minute mark. A corner towards the back post was cleverly flicked by Debrah into the path of Waters, who sent the nearest defender the wrong way before drilling the ball into the net, notching his second of the game and twentieth of the season.
As Wealdstone continued to offer precious little, the Shaymen should have added a third in stoppage time. A lovely move down the left culminated in McDonagh holding the ball up in the box and laying off Harvey Gilmour clean through on goal, but the Town midfielder could only hit the side netting.
The Shaymen’s next fixture is a home game against Solihull Moors on Tuesday 5th March.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 5 Jesse Debrah, 6 Tom Bradbury, 8 Kieran Green (26 Martin Woods 82), 10 Matty Warburton, 15 Gerry McDonagh 17 Kian Spence (4 Luke Summerfield 80), 20 Harvey Gilmour, 21 Tyrell Warren, 27 Zak Dearnley (11 Billy Waters 56), 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 25 Jordan Slew, 28 Pierce Bird
1 George Wickens, 2 Jack Cook, 6 Jerome Okimo ©, 7 Nathan Ferguson, 9 Josh Umerah, 10 Stephen Browne (16 Ira Jackson 80), 14 Connor McAvoy (23 Jaydn Mundle-Smith 70), 17 Nikola Tavares, 18 Alex Dyer (4 Ashley Charles 74), 19 Charles Claydon, 22 Aaron Henry
Subs:, 11 David Sesay, Jamie Mascoll
Referee: Paul Marsden
Goals: Waters 60, 75
Yellow Cards: Green 13
Red Cards: None
Attendance 1850 (125 away)
FC Halifax Town 2 Wealdstone 0
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