FC Halifax Town 4-1 Fylde

FC Halifax Town
FC Halifax Town

A scintillating FC Halifax Town blew National League big boys Fylde away with a stirring 4-1 win at The Shay.

First-half goals by Liam McAlinden and Tobi Sho-Silva were added to after the interval by Cameron King and Jerome Binnom-Williams.

Danny Rowe's effort got Fylde back to 2-1, but it proved a false dawn on a day of blazing sunshine.

The Shaymen were sensational; every department functioning to its capacity, playing with purpose but also freedom, with discipline but also expression.

They didn't just beat Fylde, they pummeled them.

Fylde were nearly ahead within the first minute after Matty Kosylo, greeted by some jeers from the home supporters, won a corner, from which Lewis Montrose's drive was well saved by Sam Johnson.

But Town settled quicker after that, with their positive attitude and aggression giving them the upper hand against an out-of-sorts Fylde.

McAlinden produced an excellent finish across goal to put Halifax in-front after a clever pass by Cameron King found him in space to the left of the penalty area.

Cameron King's shot was heading in a few minutes later but for a crucial block as the Town fans lapping up their side's pace and urgency when going forward.

Jamie Allen was tremendous down the right flank, leaving Fylde left-back Scott Duxbury trailing in his wake, while Sho-Silva, who replaced Jeff King in Town's only change, worked hard up-front in his battle with centre-back Alex Whitmore, although referee Declan Bourne persistently penalised the Town attacker in their 50-50's, much to the consternation of Pete Wild.

For a side beaten in last season's play-off final, Fylde were surprisingly poor, with some sloppy touches, and overhitting and underhitting passes under no pressure.

Halifax deserved credit for their hunger in closing them down though, while Nathan Clarke was magnificent at the heart of the hosts' defence, always in the right place at the right time to intercept or head clear.

Against the run-of-play, striker Kurt Willoughby and Kosylo, still getting booed by a section of the Shay crowd, both went close during a hectic passage of play in the Town box.

But from a Fylde corner, Town broke rapidly, and after Cameron King has played a perfectly-timed and perfectly-weighted through ball, Sho-Silva got his reward for a battling display by coolly slotting the ball low across James Montgomery from 15 yards.

Town were in complete control against a lethargic Fylde team, but danger man Rowe dragged them back into the contest just before half-time, although they barely deserved it, when he tucked away a loose ball from a corner.

The Shaymen had been terrific, playing like they couldn't wait to reach Fylde's goal, and protecting their own valiantly.

Cameron King and McAlinden both could have done better with efforts shortly after the interval.

But King made no mistake when he latched on to Allen's superb chipped pass, took it down with fabulous technique and then drilled a low shot past Montgomery from a tight angle.

Sho-Silva would have sealed the result just after an hour, such was Town's intensity and Fylde's lack of inspiration, but his shot whistled just wide from 20 yards after McAlinden intercepted a poor pass from the visitors.

Referee Declan Bourne then outdid himself by awarding a goal kick after Montgomery's wonderful save from Cameron King's rocket of a shot.

Halifax were like a can of soda that had been shaken up before being opened; bursting with energy and excitement. Fylde, FA Trophy holders no less, couldn't live with them.

Niall Byrne and substitute Nick Haughton both went close to pulling one back for Fylde, but they were token gestures.

It got better and better for Town, with Binnom-Williams given the freedom of the box by the statuesque Fylde defence to edge closer and closer to goal before lifting the ball into the top corner.

Even Sho-Silva had a free-kick given in his favour, before the icing on the cake came when he was replaced by Josh Macdonald, for the winger's first game since Town's 2-1 defeat at home to Ebbsfleet on February 17, 2018, three days before Jamie Fullarton took over as manager.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Binnom-Williams, Staunton, Nolan, C King (Earing 78), Allen (J King 67), Sho-Silva (Macdonald 83), McAlinden. Subs not used: Appleyard, Hanson.

Scorers: McAlinden (11), Sho-Silva (36), C King (53), Binnom-Williams (76)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 7

Fylde: Montgomery, Craigen, Whitmore (Williams 59), Byrne, Duxbury, Montrose, Philliskirk, Rowe, Kosylo, Yeates, Willoughby (Haughton 46). Subs not used: Jameson, Lavercombe, Ngwatala.

Scorer: Rowe (45)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 8

Corners: 10

Attendance: 1,913

Referee: Declan Bourne

Town man of the match: Jamie Allen