Dover 0-2 FC Halifax Town

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

Man of the match Cameron King's brace saw FC Halifax Town earn a hard-fought 2-0 win at Dover in-front of the BT Sport cameras.

The Shaymen kept only their third clean sheet of the season, and moved to within a point of leaders Bromley.

King was the star of the show, coming back into the side and catching the eye with a terrific individual performance, capped with a wonderful late second goal in added time.

If this was a test of Town's credentials to remain among the front-runners in the National League, they passed it.

King showed what Town have been missing from the start recently as he controlled Liam McAlinden's excellent crossfield pass before jinking towards goal and coolly finishing past goalkeeper Lee Worgan.

That was the fifth time already that Dover had conceded first at home, while every time Halifax had scored first this season, they'd won.

There was much more movement and energy to Town's front four than against harrogate, with Danny Williams and Liam McAlinden getting on the ball in decent areas down the flanks.

You could see why Dover's top-scorer Inih Effiong had already notched seven goals this season though, with the striker causing problems at the other end with his pace and strength.

He should have equalised 10 minutes after King's goal, but somehow put the ball wide after latching onto a high ball and cutting in on his right.

Town had a purpose in possession that was lacking at times against Harrogate and certainly hadn't come to Crabble to sit back, looking eager to make amends for their defeat in midweek.

The Shaymen soon got to grips with Offiong though, and began to frustrate the hosts as the opening half wore on.

King was easily justifying his selection, popping up all over the place in the Dover half to link play and keep Town moving with sinuous movement and excellent close control.

By half-time, Dover needed a rethink. Offiong had been snuffed out to the point of ineffectiveness.

The Shaymen had been controlled and composed, especially King, who was a magnet for the ball and afforded far too much time and space.

Dover started the second-half ominously strongly, with Bobby-Joe Taylor, Jai Reason and Will De Havilland all going close within the first 10 minutes as the home side played with far more urgency and assertiveness.

Steven Rigg then hit the post after good play out wide by the influential Ricky Modeste to beat his man and produce a cross.

It was much better from the home side, who were now first to more balls, playing forward quicker and getting more bodies in support of Offiong.

De Havilland's shot flew just over as Dover continued to knock on the door; Halifax had offered next to nothing as an attacking force since the restart.

For all their pressure, Dover were yet to test Sam Johnson, until Reason's driven free-kick from 20 yards was well saved by the Town keeper.

It was increasingly backs-to-the-wall stuff from Halifax, who were reliant on the resilience of their defence, with their attacking impetus long since lost.

But resilient they remained, and sealed a superb victory with King's magnificent lob over Lee Worgan from outside the box.

Dover: Worgan, Doe, De Haviland, Simpson, Taylor (Rooney 87), Reason, Woods, Cumberbatch (L'Ghoul 46), Modeste (Jeffrey 75), Rigg, Effiong. Subs not used: Mersin, Munns.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 10

Corners: 7

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Staunton, Binnom-Williams, Nolan, Cooper, C King, Williams (Earing 87), McAlinden (J King 65), Sho-Silva (Southwell 79). Subs not used: Appleyard, Hanson.

Scorer: C King (11, 90)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 4

Attendance: 1,020

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Town man of the match: Cameron King