FC Halifax Town 2-2 Bromley

Halifax Town v Bromley.
Halifax Town v Bromley.
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A dramatic comeback in stoppage time rescued a point for FC Halifax Town as they drew 2-2 with Bromley.

Town fell behind for the eighth time this season when Moses Emmanuel struck, like Andy Mangan had on Tuesday, with a quarter of an hour to go.

That came after Halifax had enjoyed a dominant spell of pressure after the interval, but by the time substitute Pierre Joseph-Dubois added a second in the 90th minute, a fair few Town fans took that as their cue to exit, with The Shaymen looking dead and buried.

But those that did missed a finale to rank alongside the most dramatic of Neil Aspin’s reign as first Connor Hughes and then Jordan Burrow from the penalty spot struck to somehow wrestle a much-needed point.

Town went into the game on the kind of run that needed a goal off someone’s backside to get that elusive first win of the season.

Any kind of win would have done for The Shaymen, but perhaps this draw, which will feel like a win, could just be the spark Halifax need to kick start their campaign.

Bromley seemed to start with the scent of blood in their nostrils, with Ben may heading wide when well-placed just three yards out from a corner.

They were lively going forward with some short, sharp passes inside the Halifax half, and worked hard to establish two banks of four when Town had possession.

There was a nervy atmosphere around The Shay, not helped when the pacey Emmanuel cut in from the left before unleashing a fierce shot that whistled just over.

Matt Glennon then dropped what looked a straightforward catch from a right-wing cross, thankfully with no Bromley player waiting to pounce.

Seconds later, Jordan Burrow, switched to the left to accommodate the returning Andy Bishop in Town’s only change from Tuesday, should have eased the early tension when his pace took him clean through, but his low shot was saved by Alan Julian.

Halifax’s best outlet again looked to be Sean Tuton, whose athleticism had forced an early corner after flying past left-back Joe Anderson to latch onto Kevin Roberts’ dinked pass.

Tuton then saw an acrobatic bicycle kick tipped over by Julian from 12 yards, with James Bolton, again starting at centre-half, heading over the angle of post and bar from the resulting corner.

But Town looked vulnerable at the back, with a teasing cross so nearly turned in at the far post by Anthony Cook, with Glennon called upon to keep that out and tip the ball over from the ensuing goalmouth scramble.

From that corner though, the Town keeper again failed to claim the high ball, although again Bromley couldn’t take advantage.

For all their defensive frailties, Town were hitting back at the other end, with Kingsley James twice escaping the clutches of a Bromley player before squeezing a shot away on the edge of the box, with Julian this time producing a double-save to deny him and Burrow on the re-bound.

There was a sense that the Town fans were waiting for something to make some noise about, with the endeavour from Tuton and Jake Hibbs drawing the warmest response from the home supporters, although misplaced passes and lack on control drew a disgruntled groan as the first-half progressed.

The Town defence were then sliced open when first Max Porter then Bradley Goldberg both had shots kept out by Glennon.

Again Town replied in kind though as Bolton’s thunderbolt rattled the crossbar.

Still the pattern continued as a Bromley free-kick was allowed to travel through to Glennon without a Town touch in the manner of Torquay’s second goal last week.

But again The Shaymen perhaps should have scored themselves when a poor defensive header fell perfectly to Bishop, but his side-foot shot from just inside the box drifted wide.

As against Torquay last weekend, Connor Hughes was brought on for the start of the second-half, with Town deploying what was, in effect, a 4-2-4.

Tuton was next to spurn a good chance when the bounce of the ball helped him get past Anderson but he fired low across goal and wide.

Just like a week ago, Hughes’ impact with immediate as he provided natural width on the left with a potent mix of speed and directness.

If a goal was to come, surely he was the most likely provider.

Town were getting closer, with Matty Brown’s header saved brilliantly by Julian, but only after a quickly-taken corner was called back because a Bromley player was down injured, only for him to get straight back up without treatment.

The officials provoked further anger from the home fans by giving Bromley a throw-in, believing Burrow had failed to keep a long ball in play, when Town should have had a corner after his attempted cross was blocked.

Town were starting to dominate by the midway point of the second-half, with Hibbs next to bring out a fine save from Julian, who tipped his attempted chip over at full-stretch after some fine close control by the youngster had earned him half-a-yard of space inside a crowded box.

It certainly wasn’t for lack of effort that Town were not ahead, but they were soon behind when substitute Alex Wall found Emmanuel inside the box, who held off a challenge and, despite lying on the ground, managed to scoop the ball past Glennon before it rolled almost apologetically over the line to the stunned silence of most observers at The Shay.

Bromley looked to have sealed it when Joseph-Dubois calmly side-footed the ball past Glennon to seemingly consign Town to defeat.

Hughes’ thunderbolt from 30 yards looked no more than a consolation with a minute of added time remaining.

That was until Town’s last throw of the dice saw Kingsley James battle his way into the box before the referee blew for a penalty for a foul on substitute Elliott Whitehouse, which Burrow buried to seal an incredible comeback.

Halifax: Glennon, K Roberts, Brown, Bolton, McManus, Bencherif (Hughes 46), James, Hibbs (Whitehouse 79), Bishop (Hattersley 62), Tuton, Burrow. Subs not used: Porter, Macdonald.

Scorers: Hughes (90), Burrow (pen 90)

Shots on target: 7

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 11

Bromley: Julian, Anderson, Emmanuel, Chorley (Rodgers 80), Francis, Holland, Fuseini, Porter, Cook, Goldberg (Joseph-Dubois 62), May (Wall 62). Subs not used: Dennis, Prestedge.

Scorers: Emmanuel (76), Joseph-Dubois (90)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 3

Attendance: 1,107

Town man of the match: Jordan Burrow