Barrow 1-2 FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town fought back from 1-0 down at half-time to beat Barrow thanks to goals from Liam Nolan and Liam McAlinden.

Lewis Hardcastle had given the hosts the lead, but after a dreadful first-half, Town came out fighting after half-time and turned the game on its head.

If winning away at Barrow two days after convincingly beating Fylde is the sign of a good team, so is winning when you're not at your best.

The Shaymen can reflect on two very different performances over the Bank Holiday weekend, but six very impressive points.

A Halifax win at half-time here looked fanciful, but The Shaymen showed resilience and character to get their noses in-front and then defend their lead.

For the second away game in a row, Town conceded inside the first minute when Hardcastle took advantage of being given too much space on the edge of the box to sweep a terrific shot across goal into the far corner.

The similarities to Aldershot didn't stop there though, as Town struggled to get going.

It was disjointed from The Shaymen, who chased a lot of the ball and didn't hunt it with the same level of desire and aggression as they had on Saturday.

In possession, Town were almost going through the motions rather than producing anything incisive or imaginative.

Jamie Allen was Halifax's best route to goal with a lively display down the right, but he was the exception in a lethargic Town side.

Josh Staunton, exceptional on Saturday, and Nolan were overshadowed in midfield, while McAlinden was a peripheral figure down the left.

Tobi Sho-Silva battled away up-front, but had very little service to feed off.

There was a lucky escape for Town when a shot by Dior Angus was parried by Sam Johnson and somehow skipped away from the onrushing Barrow player at the back post.

It may have been the same team from that superb 4-1 win over Fylde, but it was nowhere near the same performance.

Oliver Dyson latched onto a lofted pass moments before half-time in-behind the Halifax defence, but fired over under pressure from Michael Duckworth.

Had it gone in, Town could had have no complaints; they'd been a distant second best.

Whether it was due to tiredness from their exertions at the weekend or not, the biggest positive Halifax could take from the first-half was only trailing 1-0.

Cameron King was taken off at half-time - presumably due to tiredness - and Town created their best chance of the contest so far two minutes after the restart when Staunton's dinked cross found Sho-Silva, but the striker nodded it wastefully wide.

That was a warning Barrow didn't heed though, as Brad Barry's awful clearance fell straight to Sho-Silva, and when his shot was blocked, Nolan buried the ball calmly into the top corner from 15 yards.

Right-back Barry nearly made amends for his error when he fizzed a shot across goal from the impressive John Rooney's through ball.

Rooney was then denied by Johnson as Barrow forced Halifax back.

But a controversial decision by referee Gareth Rhodes handed Town a penalty for a foul on Jeff King as he tried to shield the ball, and McAlinden buried the spot-kick into the left corner.

Barrow must have been wondering how they were trailing.

Both Town's goalscorers came close to getting another, Nolan with a header from a corner and McAlinden with an underhit low shot, before Dyson rolled a shot just wide at the other end.

Staunton's side-foot shot flashed inches wide, before the last 10 minutes of increasingly tense football in which Town were mostly protecting their lead.

Barrow: Dixon, Brough, Granite, Hird, Dyson, Barry, Taylor (Hindle 81), Rooney, Hardcastle (Greaves 78), Angus (Kay 72), Quigley. Subs not used: Brown, Harrison.

Scorer: Hardcastle (1)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 11

Corners: 5

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Binnom-Williams, Nolan, Staunton, Allen (Macdonald 85), C King (J King 46), McAlinden, Sho-Silva. Subs not used: Appleyard, Earing, Hanson.

Scorers: Nolan (50), McAlinden (64)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 10

Corners: 4

Attendance: 1,451

Referee: Gareth Rhodes

Town man of the match: Jamie Allen