FC Halifax Town 2-0 Guiseley
Goals in each half from Matty Kosylo and Matty Brown sealed a 2-0 win for FC Halifax Town over West Yorkshire rivals Guiseley at The Shay in front of the BT Sport cameras.
The last time Town were on telly, Scott McManus produced a wonder goal to win the game, and Matty Kosylo did the same as he weaved past half the Guiseley defence before firing across goal from just inside the box.
His goal was the stand-out moment in the game, and was added to after the interval by Brown’s bullet header as Halifax recorded much-needed back-to-back wins.
Halifax possessed more quality on the day, and should have had a more comfortable afternoon than they did, but their first-half profligacy and a second-half that didn’t quite match-up to their first-half meant they weren’t sure of the win until Brown’s goal.
Adam Morgan kept his place after his winner last Saturday, while Scott Garner and Michael Duckworth made timely returns from injury to bolster the Town defence.
Brown had a good chance with a free header inside the box, while Kosylo and Tom Denton also had efforts off target as Halifax started well; they’d clearly had their Weetabix for breakfast prior to the early kick-off.
The hosts then had a penalty appeal turned down after keeper Joe Green appeared to clatter into Adam Morgan.
TV viewers would probably have got more entertainment by switching over to Bournemouth v Man City on Sky, but as an advert for non-league football, Halifax v Guiseley was doing a decent job.
Kosylo’s earlier effort had been a warning Guiseley didn’t heed as he again drifted off the left-flank and floated past some statuesque Guiseley defenders before unleashing a rocket into the far corner past Green.
“He only scores for the cameras,” sang the South Stand; a bit harsh perhaps, but if so, then the cameras can come more often.
Morgan should have added a second soon afterwards when he latched on to Denton’s clever nod down, but Green did well to save his shot from close range.
The same combination were at it again moment later as Morgan’s bullet of a shot whistled just over. Fast forward 30 seconds, and Morgan was again off target from Kosylo’s set-up, with Guiseley second best in all areas and fortunate to still be trailing by one goal.
Denton had been the fulcrum of a superb first-half from Halifax, not only winning every header he competed for, but invariably setting up a chance for a team-mate, usually Morgan, as a result.
The two forwards were establishing a promising partnership, dragging the Guiseley defence all over the place, with Kosylo, Scott McManus and Josh Macdonald also causing problems down the flanks.
In contrast, Kayode Odejayi was isolated up-front for Guiseley, who too often lost the ball immediately after gaining possession.
The challenge for Town was to maintain their dominance, with The Shaymen only really impressing for 45 minutes in games this season.
But they were not the same team after the interval, repeatedly losing possession and missing the tempo to their play from the first-half, while Guiseley played with much more purpose.
Halifax looked a different side once they’d got a lead rather than trying to get one, with the focus shifting to preserving their advantage rather than adding to it.
The one saving grace was Guiseley’s lack of incisiveness, with the visitors struggling to turn their superiority into an equaliser, despite Halifax looking slow and sluggish.
But Brown allayed any fears of a Guiseley comeback with a bullet header from Connor Oliver’s corner.
Halifax: Johsnon, Duckworth (Wilde 59), Brown, Garner, McManus, Macdonald, Oliver, Hotte, Kosylo (Tomlinson 90), Morgan (Lynch 86), Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Charles.
Scorers: Kosylo (25), Brown (78)
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 8
Guiseley: Green, Brown, Lowe, Lawlor (Molyneux 71), Hurst, Thompson (Mulhern 66), Rooney, Purver, Odejayi (Hatfield 80), Williams, Atkinson. Subs not used: Maxted, East.
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 7
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Town man of the match: Scott McManus