FC Halifax Town 2-1 Boreham Wood
Goals in each half from Matty Brown and Mike Fondop-Talom helped FC Halifax Town to a crucial 2-1 win over promotion-chasers Boreham Wood.
Brown headed Town in-front after 20 minutes, with Fondop-Talom restoring their lead after Morgan Ferrier had equalised.
The win lifts Town onto 50 points, and leaves them nine points clear of the relegation zone with 15 points left to play for; if that doesn’t already mean safety, it’s surely agonisingly close now.
No team in the National League have lost fewer away games or conceded fewer away goals than Boreham Wood, so the win is no mean feat for Jamie Fullarton’s side.
It may have been the first of Town’s gruelling-looking four games in eight days, but The Shaymen were in bring-it-on mode with a wholehearted display.
The game went ahead after more than one pitch inspection, with the surface in enough of a poor state for one of the penalty spots to be repainted at half-time.
Town should have been two-up within the first five minutes, but Ben Tomlinson saw an effort cleared off the line from Connor Thomson’s cross when it seemed almost impossible to miss, before Fondop-Talom’s tame effort, also from close range, was kept out by Grant Smith.
But Town kept persevering, and with the help of a delightful back-heel by Connor Oliver, won a corner, and from Oliver’s delivery, Brown rose highest at the far post to head in.
Fondop-Talom had another good chance midway through the first-half after Tomlinson’s clever through ball, but Smith rushed off his line to keep out his shot.
Halifax might have been 1-0 up, and were good value for it, but it could have been so much better.
The Cameroonian striker then let fly with a curling shot that whistled just wide from 30 yards shortly before half-time after some stylish build-up play involving one-touch football and some good movement.
After slipping to defeat so meekly at Fylde, Fullarton must have been delighted with his side’s response. Yes, there were stray passes and some poor control at times, but Town were full of endeavour and effort.
For all their attacking promise on paper, Boreham Wood had been disjointed and ineffective.
They were a different team after the interval though, and half-an-hour after Brown’s opener, Boreham Wood levelled when the ball was shifted from right to left by Bruno Andrade, then Kieran Murtagh, before Ferrier lashed a shot high into the net, with the Town defence out of position.
Ferrier nearly had two in as many minutes, but Sam Johnson reacted well to tip his rising drive over.
Ferrier and Andrade also saw shots deflected off target in a frenetic beginning to the second-half by the visitors.
But, out of nothing, Fondop-Talom was played through by Michael Duckworth, and showed all the composure he’d lacked previously by chipping Smith one-on-one.
After that, Town defended doggedly, none more so than the excellent Brown, as they held out for the win that may well see them safe.
Next week doesn’t seem quite so bad now.
Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Graham, Brown, Maher, Wilde, Thomson (Hibbs 90), Collins (Hotte 82), Oliver, Tomlinson, Fondop-Talom. Subs not used: Nicholson, Denton, McManus.
Scorers: Brown (20), Fondop-Talom (64)
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 2
Boreham Wood: G Smith, K Smith, Stephens, Turley (Davey 44), Woodards (Balanta 63), Shakes, Champion, Ricketts (Quigley 85), Murtagh, Andrade, Ferrier. Subs not used: Doe, Folivi.
Scorer: Ferrier (50)
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 5
Referee: Matthew Dicicco
Town man of the match: Matty Brown