FC Halifax Town 1-0 Dagenham and Redbridge: Green gets Shaymen back to winning ways
Kieran Green's first-half goal saw FC Halifax Town return to winning ways as they beat Dagenham and Redbridge 1-0 at The Shay.
The single-goal victory was scant reflection on the contest, in which Halifax were by far the better side.
Dagenham stayed in the game and made it a tense finish, but anything other than three points would have been a travesty for Pete Wild' s side.
Town were unchanged from Saturday's defeat at Solihull, an indication of Pete Wild's satisfaction of that performance, and that his side didn't need to do that much differently here.
All that had been missing had been a cutting edge in-front of goal, and that was rectified after 12 minutes when Green leapt magnificently and met a corner with a superb header.
Dagenham had started quite well before that, they'd been effective off the ball, nullifying the hosts and going close when Mo Sagaf's shot flashed across goal and wide.
But Town went on to be the much better side for the rest of the opening half, while Dagenham struggled to stay in the game.
Billy Waters and Green both went close from corners as Halifax seized control of the contest.
Jack Vale was heavily involved for The Shaymen, with most of their attacks coming down the right, and supported well by Tyrell Warren.
Vale's bursts forward and positional sense to get on the ball were excellent, the only thing that let him down at times was his decision making in his final pass or cross.
Keeper Elliot Justham redeemed himself after a poor clearance by keeping out Matty Warburton's shot from an angle.
That was the first of three chances in as many minutes for the hosts which should have produced a second goal, with a terrific shot from outside the box by Vale from the resulting corner tipped over, and then a goalbound header by Tom Bradbury blocked in-front of the line from the next corner.
After some frustratingly poor corner routines of late, it was refreshing to see a goal and other chances come from them.
Town were working hard off the ball, blocking passes, closing down, regaining possession. The only worrying things were they hadn't got the second goal their performance merited, and Salford boss Gary Bowyer was in the East Stand watching it all.
Dagenham did come back into the game before half-time, forcing Halifax back, although the hosts didn't help themselves with some sloppiness on the ball.
But despite having their best spell of the match just before the interval, Sam Johnson was still to be tested.
The tenacity and aggression from Town was at its zenith at the start of the second-half, epitmoised by Green and Kian Spence in central midfield crunching into tackles and dominating the middle third.
Green nearly provided a second when his clever cutback found Vale near the corner of the six-yard box but his low shot flashed wide of the far post.
Dagenham just couldn't live with Town's intensity, and looked vulnerable to conceding a potentially decisive second.
Substitute Mauro Vilhete, who gave the visitors more penetration and pace in attack, finally brought a save from Johnson after 63 minutes with driven low shot from an angle.
The pace and tempo of the match dropped as the second-half went on, with Dagenham getting more of a foothold, but lacking the quality in the final third.
Halifax's inclination to protect their lead was kicking in as the visitors saw much more of the ball, pinning Halifax back.
It was an unnecessarily nervy ending to the game given the chances Halifax had created.
But the best they could do was Myles Weston's curling shot a yard off target cutting in from the right, a testament to Town's disciplined defence.
Substitute Dean Rance then squandered a glorious chance when he blazed fellow sub George Saunders' low cross over from six yards out.
Halifax: Town team - Johnson, Warren, Maher, Bradbury, Senior, Spence, Green, Allen (Slew 77), Warburton (Gilmour 82), Vale (Newby 67), Waters. Subs not used: Debrah, Swaby-Neavin.
Scorer: Green (12)
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 10
Dagenham and Redbridge: Justham, Wright, Reynolds, Johnson, Ling (Vilhete 56), Sagaf, Jones, Robinson (Rance 79), Weston, Balanta, Wilson (Saunders 79), Subs not used: Clark, Scott.
Shots on target: 2
Shots off target: 9
Referee: Andrew Miller
Attendance: 1,761 (58 away)
Town man of the match: Kieran Green. Another characteristic display of style and substance from the midfielder, as well as the winner - he is such a crucial part of this Town team now.