FC Halifax Town fell to their first home defeat of the season against Yeovil Town at The Shay this afternoon.
Two goals from Gold Omotayo were enough to earn the visitors the points, however the Shaymen were not without their own chances in largely close-run match.
Town goalkeeper Sam Johnson made his 166th appearance for the club, moving him into fifth position in the all-time FC Halifax Town appearance records, one ahead of Lee Gregory.
The Shaymen knew at kick-off that they would move three points clear at the top of the table, as Woking were involved in the late-night kick-off.
Tobi Sho-Silva sought to get Town off to the perfect start from a half-chance in the third minute, but the ball trickled into the hands of visiting stopper Liam O’Brien after a great run for Jamie Allen down the right wing.
The Glovers didn’t take long for a reply of their own; though their effort resulted in the first goal of the game.
A deflected shot by Courtney Duffus from outside the box hit the post and, with Johnson rooted to the spot, Omotayo was the first to react from a very tight angle five minutes into the game.
Yeovil looked to push for a second and had a penalty claim denied before Duffus again tried his luck from outside the box, cutting in from the left hand-side. Shooting across the goal, the ball was angled towards Johnson’s top-left corner, but Town’s number one was equal to it; a big left paw forcing a corner.
A constant threat from the right, Jamie Allen cut inside towards the box. He was brought down but no penalty was given, though the winger managed to get the ball back to Liam Nolan 20 yards out, central to the goal. The midfielder looked to place in with his right foot into top right-hand corner but O’Brien pulled off a top drawer save to force a corner.
Yeovil right-back Remeao Hutton carried on his good start to the game, creating an overlap up the right wing and got a ball to the back post for Albi Skendi. Johnson, though, was able to spring into action and get his right glove to the top corner before the ball bulged the net.
The Shaymen got a chance of their own just before the half-hour mark. Josh Staunton was taken by surprise after another good cross from Allen went over Sho-Silva and took the Town centre-half by surprise.
Johnson again was busy after Yeovil won a central free-kick 20 yards out. It was taken by the captain Carl Dickinson and forced Johnson into a fine save, flying across his goal line to the left and putting it behind for a corner.
Matt Worthington should have put the Glovers two ahead when he got a free header inside the six-yard box but his effort was straight at Johnson’s chest.
The last goal-scoring chance of the first half fell to Liam Nolan. His header on goal was blocked at the near post.
Pete Wild chose to change things at half-time. The Shaymen boss brought Liam McAlinden on for Jack Earing.Town’s top scorer was in the action immediately. McAlinden slipped Sho-Silva through in-between the two centre-halves and the striker almost bagged his third of the season.
The home team continued to look for the equalising goal. Winger Allen broke quickly from a Yeovil corner; right-back Michael Duckworth provided a lung-busting supporting run and whipped the ball in. It went all the way through for Jeff King at the back post, but his powerful effort hit the crossbar.
They kept up the pressure from another corner, earned after McAlinden and Sho-Silva linked up once again, but Josh Staunton’s header hit the goalkeeper.
Yeovil’s first real chance in the second-half resulted in them doubling in their lead. Johnson spilled a cross – his one blot on an otherwise excellent performance – which fell to Omotayo for the Yeovil striker to finish off with 20 minutes to go.
The visitors were effective in closing the game out with a two-goal lead, stopping the match at every opportunity to break up Town’s fluency.
Nolan still tested O’Brien, the visiting goalkeeper saving to his right, with the rebound dragged wide by McAlinden.
In the four minutes of added time Omotayo was presented with a chance to claim his hat-trick following a slip from Nathan Clarke, but Johnson was equal to the one-on-one.
The 2-0 defeat defeat sees Town drop into second position on goal difference ahead of an away trip to Notts County next Saturday.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson; 2 Michael Duckworth, 4 Nathan Clarke ©, 14 Josh Staunton, 3 Jerome Binnom-Williams, 8 Jack Earing (Liam McAlinden 45), 6 Liam Nolan, 20 Jeff King (Josh MacDonald 86), 7 Jamie Allen, 10 Cameron King (Danny Williams 73), 11 Tobi Sho-Silva.
Subs: 12 Will Appleyard, 16 Jacob Hanson
27 Liam O’Brien, 3 Carl Dickinson, 6 Luke Wilkinson, 7 Matt Worthington, 10 Gold Omotayo , 11 Myles Hippolyte, 14 Courtney Duffus (Olley McCoy 80), 18 Albi Skendi, 19 Tom Bradbury, 24 Remeao Hutton (Craig Alcock 61), 26 Charlie Lee (James Tilley 47)
Subs: 15 Gabby Rogers, 23 Tom Whelan
Goals: Omotayo (4), Omotayo (69)
Yellow Cards: Earing (28), Worthington (37), Hutton (43),(65) Pete Wild (75) Omatayo
Red Cards: None
Attendance: 2341 (153 Away)
Town travel to Nottingham to face Notts County next Saturday (15.00).
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist