Second-half goals from Matty Kosylo and Richard Peniket gave FC Halifax Town a precious three points as they beat 10-man Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 at The Shay.
After a cagey first-half, Town came roaring out after the interval and upped their game enough to ensure they moved above Kidderminster in the National League North table.
In the space of three minutes shortly after half-time, Liam King had a penalty saved, Kosylo scored his first Town goal and Kidderminster’s Tyrone Williams was sent-off.
Fellow substitute Peniket then sealed the win in added time with a breakaway goal.
It was a far from perfect performance from Town, but when it’s against one of your competitors for promotion, quite frankly, who cares?
They may have taken a while to reach top gear, but an improved second-half showing was enough to deserve the win.
Jordan Sinnott again impressed early on for Town, who drifted across the pitch in his usual fashion, picking passes and maintaining possession.
There was an outrageous piece of skill from him 10 minutes in when he befuddled a Kidderminster opponent with a Cruyff turn to leave his opponent standing.
Sinnott’s continually outstanding form makes it all the more baffling why he spent most of last season at left-back for Altrincham.
He and Denton both sent the ball harmlessly over from decent early chances, with Kidderminster’s ambition seemingly limited to neutralising Halifax’s threat going forward.
A Sinnott back-heel then released Josh Wilde down the left, but his cross just evaded a Town touch in a crowded penalty area.
Kidderminster came out of their shells though and constructed some short, sharp passing moves inside the Halifax half, with James McQuilkin - Kidderminster’s answer to Jordan Sinnott - Elton Ngwatala and Mani Diesuervwe to the fore.
A superb cross-field pass by Ngwatala set left-back Ashley Carter marauding towards the penalty box before his low drive across goal was tipped behind by Steve Drench.
Denton then glanced Kevin Roberts’ cross narrowly wide before referee Steve Copeland subjected Heath to a lengthy lecture on the touchline after taking umbrage with the Town manager’s protestations.
But Heath must have been growing increasingly concerned about how the balance of the game was shifting in Kidderminster’s favour, with Town’s chances drying up and the hosts being forced into some desperate last-ditch defending.
Half-time was a blessing for Town, who needed 15 minutes to regroup and rethink.
Kidderminster’s approach play was incisive, but they lacked a cutting edge, although The Shaymen had long since lost their attacking impetus and had only a tame David Lynch effort in the shots-on-target column at the interval.
That was added to soon after the break by Alex Simmons’ low shot from 20 yards before Town then won a penalty when substitute Kosylo was tripped in the box, but King’s spot-kick was well saved by Sam Hornby, diving to his left.
But moments later, with the ball never having left Kidderminster’s half, Kosylo struck an excellent low drive across the area to hand Halifax the lead.
Kidderminster’s afternoon was going downhill fast, and got even worse when Williams was shown a second yellow card for a late tackle on Josh Wilde two minutes after Kosylo’s goal.
Less than 10 minutes of the second-half had been much more watchable than the entire first 45, and Town had certainly rediscovered their attacking impetus.
There was more tempo, more urgency and more hunger from Halifax in the second-half, while Kidderminster were severely blunted after going down to 10 men.
As per usual in these scenarios, the win wasn’t achieved without it’s customary nervy ending as Town sat back and Kidderminster had the odd sight of goal.
But Peniket settled it with a cool finish across the keeper after a counter-attack, with Kidderminster over-committed at the other end.
Halifax: Drench, Roberts, Garner, Hotte, Wilde, Macdonald (Kosylo 38), King, Lynch, Sinnott (Hibbs 68), Simmons, Denton (Peniket 83). Subs not used: Nicholson, Moyo.
Scorers: Kosylo (51), Peniket (90)
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 6
Kidderminster: Hornby, Williams, Lowe, Tunicliffe, Carter, Croasdale, Waite (Truslove 72), McQuilkin (Austin 83), Gnahoua, Diesuervwe (Brown 61), Ngwatala. Subs not used: Palmer.
Shots on target: 2
Shots off target: 2
Town man of the match: Nathan Hotte
Referee: Steven Copeland