Chesterfield 2-3 FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town moved to the top of the National League as their dream start to the season continued with a 3-2 win at Chesterfield.

Jamie Allen, Nathan Clarke and Cameron King put Town 3-0 up before ex-Halifax loanee Mike Fondop reduced the deficit and Joe Rowley struck late on to ensure a nervy finish.

It's now 22 points from a possible 27 for Pete Wild's super Shaymen, a remarkable tally that would have been unthinkable when he took charge just days before the season started.

Chesterfield were winless and yet to keep a clean sheet this season. They still are.

Halifax were riding the crest of a wave, flying high in the table and playing an exciting brand of football under Pete Wild. They still are.

Halifax started brightly, playing with a tempo and not sitting back. It was almost as if Town could sense a vulnerability about Chesterfield, and how.

It took only eight minutes for the breakthrough to come as Cameron King, reinstated and reinvigorated in place of namesake Jeff, burst forward before playing in Allen down the right side of the box, and he slipped the ball past keeper Luke Coddington from a tight angle.

Town were aggressive, committed, pressing and playing with intensity.

The murmurs of discontent among the home fans were rumbling after 15 minutes when an awful Chesterfield corner failed to beat the first man, with hosts looking disjointed and dispirited.

The 481 travelling Halifax supporters were loving it.

The Shaymen had looked a little frail after Matty Brown went off injured on Saturday, but Josh Staunton slotted in seamlessly alongside skipper Nathan Clarke as Chesterfield struggled to hit back.

It was the usual story of defensive solidity behind a midfield offering excellent protection, with Tobi Sho-SIlva again working terrifically hard up top.

The Town striker brought a save from the onrushing Coddington after King's through ball as confidence flowed through The Shaymen, who strung together some delightful football on the half-hour mark which the home fans could only presumably admire with envy.

Moments after Sho-Silva hit the bar with a thumping shot from the left of the box, Clarke met a corner with a superb header from the edge of the six-yard box; his jump was matched by that of the celebrating Pete Wild on the touchline as it went in.

It was hard to tell which set of supporters were more amazed at what they were seeing - Chesterfield in dismay or Halifax in delight.

Halifax were like men possessed, every high ball, 50-50, every throw-in decision contested with zeal.

It took until just before half-time for the hosts to register their first shot on target, with Anthony Gerrard's header cleared off the line by Michael Duckworth.

Any thoughts of second-half complacency were banished when Cameron King twisted this way and that to the right of the six-yard box before firing low into the net barely two minutes after the restart.

The curse of the former player struck again though when Fondop converted Jermaine McGlashan's cross from the right less than five minutes later.

That preceded a more even contest as Town came off the pace a little and Chesterfield produced a more spirited performance, with more urgency and pace.

The Shaymen retained a threat on the break, while Chesterfield's threat was intermittent - a few bright moments but nothing Town couldn't cope with.

Sho-Silva nearly added a fourth but for Will Evans' last ditch clearance from Allen's cross.

The hosts saw more of the ball as Halifax understandably tired, and set-up a grandstand finish when Rowley fired low past Johnson from 20 yards.

But the visitors had done more than enough to earn the win.

Chesterfield: Coddington, Evans, Maguire, Gerrard, Rowley, Smith, Hollis (Yarney 73), McGlashan (Weston 57), Mandeville, Boden (McKay 82), Fondop. Subs not used: Jalal, Sheridan.

Scorers: Fondop (50), Rowley (89)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 4

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Staunton, Binnom-Williams, Nolan, C King (J King 61), Earing, Allen, McAlinden, Sho-Silva (Macdonald 80). Subs not used: Appleyard, Hanson, Williams.

Scorers: Allen (8), Clarke (33), King (47)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 3

Attendance: 3,844 (481 away)

Referee: Peter Gibbons

Town man of the match: Tobi Sho-Silva