Dagenham and Redbridge 1-3 FC Halifax Town: Waters and Warburton help Town back to winning ways

FC Halifax Town got back to winning ways with a superb performance in their 3-1 victory at Dagenham and Redbridge.

By Tom Scargill
Saturday, 29th January 2022, 4:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th January 2022, 4:58 pm
Dagenham and Redbridge v FC Halifax Town
Dagenham and Redbridge v FC Halifax Town

Two goals from Billy Waters and one from Matty Warburton earned The Shaymen a fully deserved win - their first at Victoria Road since 2004 - after a stylish, confident first-half and a resilient, hard-working second-half, in which Matt Robinson restored the hosts' hopes of a fightback.

There was a zip and a zing about Town that had been lacking in their last two league games. This was much more like it.

There was an intensity and aggression about The Shaymen from the off; they looked determined to win the ball back when they didn't have it, and determined to produce something when they did.

Town looked more comfortable in their usual 4-2-3-1 too.

The returning Luke Summerfield, who captained Town in place of the missing Niall Maher, was an effective presence in midfield, picking out some nice passes and backing up play.

Jack Senior got down the left flank with purpose, twice producing excellent early crosses that deserved an effort at the end of them, before a nice one-two with Waters, exemplifying that Town appeared to have their mojo back.

A superior 20 minutes was rewarded with Warburton's magnificent strike across goal into the far corner.

Dagenham didn't seem to know what had hit them or how to respond. The Shaymen were a team transformed from the comparatively disjointed, lethargic version from Alfreton onwards.

Halifax were hungry, winning second balls, making runs, shouldering off opponents, regaining possession.

And when they attacked, there were crosses, there were shots, there were flicks, and one-twos, and and it was done at pace.

Dagenham were being overrun, chasing shadows.

The impressive Aaron Martin, giving Halifax a focal point in attack with his strength and presence, saw a low shot parried away by Elliot Justham as Town continued to dominate.

Junior Morias had brought a good save from Sam Johnson within the first few minutes, but since then, the home side had offered nothing.

Jesse Debrah had defended well against dangerman Paul McCallum, winning countless headers, while Summerfield and Martin Woods had controlled midfield with controlled performances.

Halifax were nearly pegged back when Will Wright's free-kick was cleared off the line, but that would have been grossly unfair on the visitors.

Town had threatened a second goal, and got it before half-time when a cross was headed into Matty Warburton's path by Yoan Zouma, and after the Town man headed against the post, Waters blasted the loose ball in for his first goal in 10 games.

It was a more even contest after the interval, with Dagenham trying to repair the damage, but The Shaymen held firm and stayed resolute, with Debrah and Tom Bradbury, and Tyrell Warren and Senior either side of them, solid in defence, staying in shape and staying alert.

Town were having far more defending to do this half, with Myles Weston a threat down the left.

After his shot was tipped over by Sam Johnson, Kenny Clark headed the resulting corner back across goal, where Matt Robinson converted in the middle of the box.

Only a superb block by Warren then prevented Morias' shot heading towards goal shortly after, with Dagenham galvanised by the goal, and Town on the back foot.

This was now a test of Town's resolve as Dagenham attacked in waves, with Halifax losing possession regularly as their composure of earlier deserted them.

Attacks were increasingly rare for the visitors. It was now about digging in, funnelling back and keeping concentration.

It was one-way traffic, but all their corners and all their pressure failed to result in many efforts at goal, mainly thanks to some excellent, committed defending.

But having soaked up so much pressure, Town went up the other end and finished Dagenham off when Waters stylishly stroked Warren's cross into the corner.

Dagenham: Justham, Wright, Clark, Zouma, Ling (Saunders 46), Rance, Robinson, Weston, Morias, Walker, McCallum. Subs not used: Sagaf, Jones, Scott, Akanbi.

Scorer: Robinson (62)

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 16

Halifax: Johnson, Warren, Debrah, Bradbury, Senior, Summerfield, Woods (Gilmour 85), Waters, Warburton (Thomas 86), Allen, Martin (McDonagh 68). Subs not used: Swaby-Neavin, Benn.

Scorers: Warburton (19), Waters (43, 90)

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 2

Attendance: 2,460 (163 away)

Referee: Scott Jackson

Town man of the match: Special mentions for Jesse Debrah and Martin Woods, with plenty of others - Warburton, Senior, Warren, Waters - having superb games, but Luke Summerfield takes it for a terrific display. Calm, composed, mature.