FC Halifax Town 2-1 Sutton

Ben Tomlinson's late winner moved FC Halifax Town to the brink of National League safety as they beat Sutton 2-1 at The Shay.

Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 10:43 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th April 2018, 10:46 pm

Mike Fondop-Talom put Town in-front in the first-half, but Ross Lafayette levelled for Sutton after the interval.

However, Town roused themselves again and produced a dramatic winner to secure back-to-back home wins for only the second time this season, beating two top seven sides in the process.

The gap to the drop zone is still nine points, but Barrow would have to produce title-winning form to catch The Shaymen now.

Fondop-Talom scored three goals in 22 appearances for Guiseley; he’s netted three times for Town in eight games. On this form, he must be fairly high up on Jamie Fullarton’s summer shopping list.

The Town boss made four changes from the side that beat Boreham Wood for Town’s second of four games in eight days.

Sutton flew out of the blocks and created two chances inside 90 seconds, with Sam Graham’s sloppy clearance leading to Tommy Wright hitting the bar, before Louis John’s header from eight yards was tipped over by Sam Johnson.

Their profligacy was punished though as Town converted their first clear chance when Jake Hibbs’ superb through ball played in Fondop-Talom, who showed great composure to round keeper Jamie Butler and slot home.

The Town striker looked full of confidence after his winner on Saturday, running at the Sutton defence with purpose and intent.

He tested Butler from long range before he and Tomlinson were unable to force the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble.

Aside from getting battered and bruised by some full-blooded Sutton tackles, Fondop-Talom showed superb anticipation by reading a header back to Butler before his shot on the turn was drilled wide.

But for their frenetic first few minutes, Sutton had offered next to nothing going forward, struggled to adapt to the bobbly, muddy surface and looked shaky at the back.

The Shaymen looked a well-oiled machine by comparison, with Nathan Hotte and Niall Maher screening effectively in midfield, Jake Hibbs finding space in-front of them and Connor Thompson and Tomlinson getting on the ball in good areas out wide.

The fact that Sutton boss Paul Doswell made two changes at half-time emphasised how ineffective his side had been, but he got a response from his team, who were much more lively, like Boreham Wood had been after half-time on Saturday.

Town should have doubled their lead after an hour but Tomlinson missed the target from 10 yards out after Hotte’s curling 25-yard shot had hit the base of the post.

Sutton continued to push for an equaliser and were territorially dominant, and although Town defended with desire and determination, a succession of corners and blocks eventually led to substitute Lafayette headed home an in-swinging corner.

But just when it looked like Town would be hanging on for a point, they grabbed all three when Tomlinson reacted quickest to a corner being headed onto the bar, and scrambled it over the line.

Halifax: Johnson, Moyo, Brown (Wilde 13), Graham, McManus, Maher, Hotte, Hibbs, Thomson, Tomlinson, Fondop-Talom. Subs not used: Nicholson, Oliver, Basic, Denton.

Scorers: Fondop-Talom (18), Tomlinson (88)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 7

Sutton: Butler, Eastmond, Downer, John, A Thomas, Davis, Cadogan (Harrison 46), T Thomas, Dundas, Walton (Beautyman 26), Wright (Lafayette 46). Subs not used: Beckwith, Stearn.

Scorer: Lafayette (82)

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 12

Corners: 12

Attendance: 1,274

Referee: Joe Hull

Town man of the match: Mike Fondop-Talom