FC Halifax Town 1-1 Eastleigh

FC Halifax Town v Eastleigh
FC Halifax Town v Eastleigh

FC Halifax Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Eastleigh as their wait for a home win goes on.

Tobi Sho-Silva gave Town a first-minute lead which was cancelled out after the interval by Reda Johnson.

The scoring shouldn't have finished there as the game opened up into an end-to-end contest but neither were clinical enough to win it.

The Shaymen will feel hard done by though that a penalty was not awarded late on for what appeared to be a foul on Liam McAlinden.

After Josh Macdonald had charged down the right flank and won a corner, the delivery was headed in right at the near post. Simple as that.

Having leaked too many goals from set-pieces, this time Town were the recipients of some poor defending from one, with Sho-Silva netting his first goal in 11 matches.

It seemed to be a statement of intent from Town, who started purposefully, and looked a threat going forward, especially through Macdonald.

But Sam Smart also started brightly on the Eastleigh right, bombing forward and getting the beating of Jerome Binnom-Williams more than once.

The two wide-men were the best thing in an otherwise fairly quiet opening to the game.

The half settled into a pattern of Eastleigh seeing plenty of the ball, getting into good crossing positions but not making the most of them, and Town trying to hit them on the break.

McAlinden, one of two changes for Town along with Charlie Cooper, should have doubled Town's lead midway through the first-half when he cut in towards goal on the left of the box but keeper Max Stryjjek saved his low shot.

The Shaymen didn't take advantage of a couple of dangerous looking counter-attacks, first when Mcadonald's pass was deflected into the path of two Town players but Stryjek managed to nick the ball away.

Sho-Silva then chose the wrong option on another break away when he went wide to McAlinden instead of through the middle to the onrushing Cameron King.

Eastleigh came to The Shay with only one defeat in their last 12 games, and sprayed the ball around with varying degrees of success, at times playing some decent football with good movement and interchanging of positions, but at others, failing to string two passes together.

They repeatedly got into good areas out wide but their crosses were either cleared or went straight out for a goal kick.

Sam Johnson's only save was a tame free-kick by Eastleigh captain Danny Hollands.

There were one or two dicey moments at the back for Town as well as things they could have done better going forward, but the basics of hard work, concentration and effort were there.

It wasn't the free-flowing football of earlier in the campaign, but their half-time lead was merited on the balance of play.

Rob Atkinson brought a decent save from Johnson a few minutes after the restart when Niall Maher lost the ball inside the Town half

Halifax were incisive and creative on the break though, attacking quickly and with minimal passes, but just lacking the killer ball.

And their failure to do so was punished when Johnson met a corner with a thumping header back across goal. What was that about set-pieces?

The contest had a different complexion now, with Halifax lacking composure and cohesion, while Eastleigh sensed blood.

A superb pass by Hollands found team mate Marcus Barnes but he didn't control it, and then McAlinden's cross was just out of reach of Sho-Silva moments later at the other end.

The game was opening up as King's shot was saved by Stryjek, before Barnes fired just wide.

Then from Barnes' cross, Smart squandered a huge chance for Eastleigh when he side-footed over with half the goal gaping.

Those Eastleigh crosses were now hitting their targets, and Halifax were having to defend with increasing regularity; Town were still getting into some promising positions, but didn't make the most of them.

Referee Martin Woods hadn't endeared himself to the home fans all afternoon with a series of questionable decisions, but he then provoked a chorus of boos when he rejected Town's claims for a penalty for a trip on McAlinden.

The referee then came over to speak to an irate Pete Wild, which only inflamed the mood inside The Shay even further.

Johnson had to be alert to tip over substitute Charlie Seaman's effort over in added time, but by then both sides had run out of steam.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Brown, Staunton, Binnom-Williams, Maher, Cooper, Macdonald (Allen 58), C King (J King 76), McAlinden, Sho-Silva. Subs not used: Appleyard, Nolan, Williams.

Scorer: Sho-Silva (1)

Shots on target: 7

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 2

Eastleigh: Stryjek, Boyce, Johnson, Atkinson, Partington, Smart (Seaman 88), Hollands, Payne, Miley, Rendell, Barnes (Barnett 80). Subs not used: Flitney, Scorey, Bearwish.

Scorer: Johnson (55)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 6

Attendance: 1,817 (26 away)

Referee: Martin Woods

Town man of the match: Michael Duckworth