Dreadful display sees Shaymen beaten at home by strugglers Scunthorpe

The Shay. Photo: Marcus BranstonThe Shay. Photo: Marcus Branston
The Shay. Photo: Marcus Branston
FC Halifax Town produced a dreadful performance and suffered arguably their worst result of the season as they lost to bottom side Scunthorpe 1-0 at The Shay.

Cameron Wilson's first-half goal was enough for Scunthorpe to earn a terrific result on a day when their club was taken over by a new owner.

If only there was such a sense of renewal and optimism at Halifax.

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Torquay was bad 17 days ago, but there was no response here. The wrongs not put right.

The statistics make for damning reading; this is Scunthorpe's first away win of the season, their first since February last year and only their 11th win in 93 league games.

If Town can't beat a team boasting stats like that, you have to fear for their chances at Notts County on Saturday.

Alfie Beestin's shot just wide from 25 yards five minutes in set the tone for a positive, purposeful start by the visitors.

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You could see the opening goal coming a mile off, but the way it happened was depressingly familiar in a season of Town conceding wholly avoidable goals.

A dreadful header by Festus Arthur let in Wilson, who finished well from a tight angle.

The malaise got worse as Jordan Slew gave the ball away inside his own half before no Town player reacted to a loose ball in midfield seconds later. Town fans groaned in response.

Jack Senior, head and shoulders above his team-mates along with Jamie Cooke, then burst forward down the left, getting Town into a decent position, before the ball was passed straight back again.

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A Scunthorpe side shorn of their best players and bottom of the table were showing more spirit, more belief, more fight and more ability than their play-off chasing hosts.

Town were bogged down in safe, slow, morale-sapping play, lacking adventure, repeatedly passing sideways and back and then losing it through poor distribution.

The hosts did wrestle control of the game after Scunthorpe's strong start, but it only seemed to come because Scunthorpe had the lead and were content to

Scunthorpe keeper Owen Foster wasn't tested until the 25th minute when he kept out a shot from the edge of the box by Angelo Capello, one of three to come into the side along with Slew and Rob Harker, before efforts by Cooke and Senior were blocked.

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Arthur's nightmare first-half continued when another error let in Wilson again, before he was denied by Sam Johnson and Beestin's follow-up was cleared in-front of the line.

The Shaymen should have had a penalty for handball ten minutes before the break - goodness knows they needed all the help they could get.

A brilliant run by Cooke injected some much-needed pace and penetration into Town before his deft pass set-up Harker one-on-one, but his shot was kept out by Foster when he should have scored.

Jordan Keane was also guilty of wasting a clear chance when he blazed over unmarked at the far post.

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But Halifax as a team had been guilty of so much more in a languid and lethargic first-half. It made you wonder what they'd been doing for the last 17 days.

Senior was still Town's best player, bringing a save from Foster shortly after the restart.

It wasn't the first of a glut of chances though, as Town failed to build any serious, sustained pressure.

It remained too disjointed, too sloppy and too messy from Halifax, who were too easy to defend against.

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The groans continued as The Shaymen toiled, set-pieces continued to offer nothing, signs of an equaliser were non-existent.

Scunthorpe played the ball confidently out from the back and worked it all the way to the Halifax box, while Town were struggling to play it out of their own half.

Arthur's night to forget was capped by firing way over the bar when a corner dropped to him near the penalty spot.

Town's night to forget still had 15 minutes left, but it might as well have ended there.

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Halifax: Johnson, Golden, Arthur, Debrah, Senior, Keane, Gilmour, Capello (White 90), Cooke, Slew (Osawe 56), Harker (Dierseruvwe 72). Subs not used: Hunter, Senior.

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 10

Scunthorpe: Foster, Ogle (Rowe 86), Boyce, Taft, O'Malley, Whitehouse, Pugh, Butterfield (Hallam 82), Beestin, Daniel, Wilson (Sellars-Fleming 75). Subs not used: Gallimore, Poulter.

Scorer: Wilson (12)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 2

Corners: 2

Referee: Lewis Smith

Town man of the match: Jack Senior. Best of a very bad bunch.

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