Shaymen lose out after Toulson gets red card

Halifax Town 0 Nuneaton Town 3

Ten man Town were left counting the cost of a disappointing night at the Shay as their 10-match unbeaten run ended.

Not only were they beaten by promotion rivals, who leap frogged them into second place in Blue Square Bet North, but Jamie Rainford limped off and they had Ryan Toulson sent off - all before half time.

The Shaymen were up against it from the fourth minute when Gareth Dean headed home unmarked from a corner.

And while they were nominally in the contest after that, they were out for the count after Danny Glover blasted home a 69th minute penalty.

Andy Brown’s 89th minute effort from close range was nothing more than the icing on the cake for the visitors who extended their unbeaten run away from home to 11 matches.

Aaron Hardy returned to the Town side in place of the injured Liam Needham while James Dean replaced Cameron Darkwah, who dropped to the bench alongside returning skipper Tom Baker.

The Shaymen pushed Nuneaton back in the opening stages but could have been caught on the break when Danny Glover sent a pass across field for Wesley York, whose shot sliced wide.

And when Neil Carwright jinked his way into the area on the right after four minutes, his cross was deflected behind for the game’s first corner.

Town’s marking from Adam Walker’s kick was poor and that allowed Nuneaton central defender Dean to head his side in front unmarked at the far post.

The Shaymen were struggling and Simon Eastwood was a relieved man when Danny Lowe’s attempted clearance sliced gently into his arms.

Walker’s second corner was dealt with far more easily than his first had been and Luke Ashworth stepped in to dispossess Brown in the area soon after.

A cross field pass from Toulson to Dean, which was miscontrolled, was the highlight from the Shaymen who were really struggling to get anything going.

They looked hesitant in possession and when they were defending against a side clearly buoyed by the six goals they had scored at Colwyn Bay at the weekend.

A Scott McManus cross, that flashed across the visitors’ goal after 20 minutes, threatened to spark them into life.

And Dean won Town’s first corner of the game a minute later, Ashworth’s header from Toulson’s ball in being deflected over the bar.

Rainford took a whack on the top of his foot just before the half hour mark and limped back onto the field but he was unable to continue and he was replaced by Jason St Juste.

York enjoyed a double slice of luck soon after, playing a one-two off Hardy before firing over, with the referee awarding a corner despite the protests from Eastwood who claimed not to have got a touch.

Simon Garner, who had been kicked from pillar to post at Eastwood, won a free kick nine minutes before the break but was unable to beat the first defender with his ball into the box.

St Juste did well moments later on the left, going to the byline before pulling his cross back, but Dean could not connect.

McManus was alert to a quickly taken free kick and there was another scare when Eastwood and Lowe left a ball for each other and Glover almost nipped in.

Town’s woes increased in first half stoppage time when they were reduced to 10 men after Toulson received a second yellow card and was sent off.

Ashworth was the man sacrificed at the break as Town brought on Baker in midfield with Hardy switching to right back.

But it was left back McManus who perked things up with a rasping 46th minute drive from distance that Nuneaton keeper Danny Alcock tipped over.

And Dean almost clipped a ball through for St Juste, but a defender managed to stick out a foot and intercept.

Dean stuck out a leg and forced a save from the Nuneaton keeper after getting on the end of an Eastwood clearance and the big striker was inches away from connecting with a McManus cross moments later.

You would not have known that the Shaymen were a man down, although the visitors appeared content to rest on their one goal advantage.

The frustration was growing on the pitch and off it as Aspin’s side struggled to make inroads with Dean and Holland caught offside in quick succession.

And, after Hogan had been judged to have fouled Walker, Glover thumped a long range shot off the post.

Baker tried his luck from distance, but his shot lacked power.

Darkwah was given the chance to make amends for his red card at the weekend but he was given plenty to do after Nuneaton were awarded a 69th minute spot kick.

It was a debateable award as a cross from the right brushed Hogan’s arm, but Glover made no mistake from the spot, crashing the ball high into the net.

McManus latched onto a Simon Garner pass before crossing too high for the men in the middle and the defender was brought down moments later by Neil Cartwright as he looked to make more good ground down the left.

Glover had a chance to rub salt into the wounds with four minutes remaining when he raced clear on the left but fired wide of the right hand upright.

But Brown succeeded where his teammate had failed when he forced the ball home from close range with a minute remaining.

The gamed ended messily with a rash challenge from St Juste on Cartwright and an altercation after Mark Noon had brought down Dean.