FC Halifax Town 0 Colwyn Bay 1

Dale Johnson and his team mates were left frustrated
Dale Johnson and his team mates were left frustrated

FC Halifax suffered their first defeat of the season after a frustrating home defeat to Colwyn Bay.

Kevin Holsgrove’s 74th minute strike proved the difference between the two sides on a night when Town never really got going.

The host’s best chance fell to Gareth Seddon in the first half, but his shot, dragged wide after he rounded the keeper, was to sum up a disappointing night at the Shay.

Click on the link to see pictures from last night’s game by Bruce Fitzgerald

Neil Aspin made one change from the side which beat Bishop’s Stortford on the opening day, with Chris Worsley replacing the injured Ryan Toulson.

The first chance fell to the visitors in the third minute when Gareth Evans dragged his right foot shot well wide from 30 yards after Jason Jarrett was dispossessed in midfield.

Lee Gregory had the ball pinched off him by Rob Hopley as he thought about winding up a shot from range and Paul Marshall’s cross drifted into keeper Chris Sanna’s arms as Town struggled to find an early rhythm in the opening ten minutes.

But it was the hosts who created the first clear cut chance. After beating the offside trap down the right, Gareth Seddon delicately rounded the keeper but after getting the ball out of his feet, he dragged his left foot shot well wide of the near post as Bay defenders scrambled back onto the line.

Colwyn Bay looked threatening in attack, and after spell of Town possession they created three chances in quick succession, but blocks by Liam Hogan, Danny Lowe and strong hand from Matt Glennon to deny a Hopley header from a long free-kick kept the scores level.

Town kept plugging away and Dale Johnson, who lead the well and made the ball stick up front, showed good feet to beat his name but his low cross from the right was too close to Sanna and two minutes later Gregory pulled a shot wide from 25 yards - but the striker’s next effort almost put Town ahead.

After a deep cross from Marshall on the left, Gregory’s back post header was palmed into the six yard box, but Johnson’s attempt to turn the ball in only took it off the toes of Seddon as Bay managed to clear what proved to be the final chance of the first half.

As in the first half, Colwyn Bay created the first opportunity of the second after Lowe was adjudged to have clipped Kevin Holsgrove after he had initially won the ball from the forward, but Luke Denson’s pulled back free-kick was completely missed by the arriving Holsgrove.

Sub Jason St Juste, introduced at half time for Jarrett, created Town’s first half chance he stormed run down the left and crossed for Seddon, whose header was high and wide.

The wing man was at it again a few minutes later, this time his cross evaded everybody, and Town fans thought he had scored just before the hour when his blistering left foot shot went just past the post from 20 yards.

Town started to turn the screw, and free-kick swung in from the right found Lowe, whose shot was blocked by Senna, and Gregory was only able to half volley the rebound wide from 15 yards.

Just when Town thought they were getting on top, Bay came back, and Glennon was at full stretch to turn Evans rasping shot behind for a corner.

On 65 minutes Bay created another chance when Holsgrove out muscled Lowe near the touchline and drove inside, but his shot didn’t trouble Glennon as Aspin called for reinforcements.

Jamie Rainford replaced Gregory for the final 25 minutes but the visitors wasted a glorious chance to take the lead when, after Rainford had fouled on the half way line, Sinclair’s long ball was headed wide by a totally unmarked Hopley.

A goal for the visitors had looked on the cards, and it duly came in the 74th minute, when Town failed to clear the ball properly and allowed Holsgrove space to drive the ball into the bottom right hand corner from 20 yards.

Frustration was growing in the crowd and on the pitch - and that wasn’t helped when Rainford’s low cross from the right somehow missed everyone before being hacked clear.

With Town stretched, Bay wasted a wonderful chance to wrap up the points when Holsgrove fed Hopley, but Glennon stayed big in the one on one to make the save and keep his side in it, and the former Huddersfield stopper was needed again to deny Holsgrove with a brilliant tip behind in the final minute of normal time.

Despite six minute of injury time, Town were unable to muster an equaliser, despite a late acrobatic effort from Jon Worthington, a Seddon header and a late appeal for a penalty for a tackle on Rainford that was turned down.

Town host Workington on Saturday.

Teams

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Worsley, Needham, Hogan, Jarrett (St Juste, 45 mins), Lowe, Worthington, Marshall, Johnson, Gregory (Rainford, 65 mins), Seddon. Unused subs: Senior, McManus, Qualter.

Colwyn Bay: Sanna, Smyth, Denson, Meadowcroft, Sinclair, Mckenna, Evans, Williams, Hopley, Holsgrove, Lloyd (Lea, 85 mins). Unused subs: Collins, Richardson, Davey, Newby.

Attendance: 1,328