FC Halifax Town 0-2 Boreham Wood

FC Halifax Town v Boreham Wood
FC Halifax Town v Boreham Wood

An out-of-sorts FC Halifax Town were beaten 2-0 at home by Boreham Wood, but remain top of the National League.

Goals in each half by Tom Champion and Adam McDonnell condemned Town to a disappointing defeat, but Bromley and Yeovil failed to take advantage, also losing.

Halifax didn't play to their capabilities in an underwhelming display, not showing the confidence or verve that has characterised this Pete Wild team at their best this season.

Wood's goal on the verge of half-time was the crucial moment of the contest. After that, Halifax never recovered after what had been an even first-half.

Of Town's three changes from Tuesday - Tobi Sho-Silva, Cameron King and Jamie Allen - the latter probably made the most impact early on, looking lively down the right and Town's best attacking outlet.

After Chorley parked the bus, Pete Wild was hoping Boreham Wood would bring something more akin to a Reliant Robin, and at least have a go.

And the visitors should have taken the lead after 10 minutes when top-scorer Kabongo Tshimanga was one-on-one with Sam Johnson, but the Town keeper kept out his shot having charged off his line.

Town had been restricted to long-range efforts from Michael Duckworth and Jerome Binnom-Williams, but were certainly the more attacking side.

Boreham Wood felt Allen should have been sent-off for a crude foul near the halfway line, but the booking seemed fair.

Sho-Silva was a strong presence up-front, someone Town could play the ball into and know it would stick, but The Shaymen failed to build attacks effectively from there, too often running into dead ends.

Town looked to be building a bit of momentum though when Charlie Cooper's free-kick was well saved by keeper Nathan Ashmore, the victim of Nathan Clarke's extraordinary opening-day goal at Ebbsfleet.

But Boreham Wood went on to have the better of the opening half, testing Johnson with a couple of efforts from outside the box and playing with more assurance and purpose.

Halifax hadn't properly come to life, but as half-time approached, they appeared to have lost their way, turning over possession too easily and not threatening to bypass the away side's back line.

Only a last-ditch Nathan Clarke tackle had prevented Tyrone Marsh from getting a shot away near the penalty spot before the visitors made the breakthrough.

Neither side had really done enough to lead, but Boreham Wood edged ahead when Champion met a corner with a bullet header from six yards.

It had been too flat, too easy to defend against from Town, who needed a gear change at half-time.

Liam McAlinden and Cameron King had hardly touched the ball inside the Boreham Wood box. When Town did have the opportunity to break at pace, they hadn't made the most of it through poor decision-making or execution.

The Shaymen were disjointed and untidy on the ball, lacking the composure or creativity to get back on level terms.

The introduction of Jeff King and Niall Maher by the hour mark was an admission by Pete Wild that it hadn't been working.

The hosts were still seeing more of the ball, and weren't being threatened at the back, so parity was far from beyond them.

But the longer the second-half went on, the less likely it became.

Town stuck to their principles of patient build-up play and trying work openings, but weren't quick or accurate enough to build up any pressure.

So when McDonnell curled in a superb free-kick from 20 yards out into the bottom corner with 15 remaining, it already looked game over.

Town kept going though, and that goal preceded arguably Halifax's best spell of the game, with Dayle Southwell driving a low shot narrowly wide, and Jeff King seeing a shot ping off the post.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Staunton, Binnom-Williams, Nolan (Maher 60), Cooper, C King (Southwell 69), McAlinden, Allen (J King 56), Sho-Silva. Subs not used: Appleyard, Earing.

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 11

Corners: 8

Boreham Wood: Ashmore, Woodards (Thompson 31), Champion, Fyfield, Ilesanmi, McDonnell, Murtagh, Thomas, Mingoia (Shakes 65), Marsh, Tshimanga (Shaibu 81). Subs not used: Gregory, Wickham.

Scorers: Champion (44), McDonnell (75)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 3

Attendance: 2,244

Referee: James Bell

Town man of the match: Jerome Binnom-Williams