FC Halifax Town 4-2 King's Lynn: Shaymen get play-off push back on track in six-goal thriller
FC Halifax Town fought back from 2-0 down to put their play-off push back on track with a hugely entertaining 4-2 win over King's Lynn at The Shay.
Michael Gash and Sonny Carey put the visitors into a two-goal lead as Town looked to be suffering a hangover from Tuesday night's 4-0 defeat to Wrexham.
But The Shaymen dug deep and came roaring back, with goals from Billy Chadwick and Jake Hyde levelling the score at half-time before Luke Summerfield and Jack Earing established and extended the hosts' lead.
It was a fabulous contest, showcasing what the fifth tier has to offer live on BT Sport, as well as the best and worst of The Shaymen, who recovered from an awful start with a vibrant, fluid and stylish attacking display.
Defensively there is work to do, but going forward, lots to admire.
Town worked hard to try and press King's Lynn high up the pitch, with the visitors keen to play out from the back. But when they did knock it long, striker Michael Gash was an effective aerial presence.
After Earing's shot was blocked at one end, veteran forward Simeon Jackson was played in by former Town midfielder Cameron King, but Sam Johnson raced off his line to keep out his drive.
But Tyler Denton was given too much space to cross down the left, and Gash converted smartly at the far post, with Johnson surely ruing his decision to stay on his line.
King's Lynn repeatedly played out from the back, unencumbered by fear of losing possession and looking more comfortable and confident than you'd expect of a side second-from-bottom.
Town got the ball in some good areas in and around the King's Lynn box but were shot-shy and over-working it.
Both sides came into the game on the back of 4-0 defeats, but Town's seemed to have affected them more than King's Lynn's, with The Shaymen guilty of taking extra touches and no end product from several spells of possession around the visitors' box.
The impressive Billy Chadwick picked out Danny Williams, whose cut-back was pinged towards goal by Martin Woods, bringing a first save from Theo Richardson.
But moments later, after Jackson's shot was blocked, the rebound was turned in by Sonny Carey from close range to put Halifax in all sorts pf trouble.
Richardson then had fairly routine saves from Woods and Jake Hyde, but the edge seemed to have gone from Town's game, they weren't pressing with enough desire or playing with enough intensity.
It had been too easy for King's Lynn to defend and attack against them, although the visitors had done both well.
The Shaymen finally converted one of their attacks though when a low cross from Neill Byrne was swept in by Chadwick, capping his excellent display.
Only an outstretched leg by Johnson then prevented Carey from doubling Halifax's lead as the hosts' defence continued to be breached.
But Hyde dragged Halifax level when he brought down Luke Summerfield's free-kick and, in an inexplicable amount of space, found the net with a terrific shot across goal.
Even then, Jackson could have restored Lynn's lead just before the break but his shot on the stretch was over the bar from close range.
It had been a breathless first-half, far from perfect from Town, but they had clawed their way back from largely self-inflicted adversity.
After 15 minutes to catch your breath, the non-stop action resumed as Williams and Jeff King both went close with efforts from an angle, while Carey's effort from the corner of the six-yard box was cleared by Maher with Johnson beaten.
The turnaround was completed when Hyde latched onto a lofted pass and did brilliantly to hold it up and lay it off for Summerfield, who, after calling for the pass, struck a delightful shot into the corner from 20 yards. Town had got their mojo back.
King's Lynn's had deserted them, with their two-goal lead a distant memory when Earing was presented with an absolute gift after a sloppy pass by Ethan Coleman left him with a simple finish.
"More, more, keep going" yelled Pete Wild as Chadwick curled a shot just wide, with the Town boss acutely aware the game was far from over.
The Shaymen were now defending with far more aggression and precision now though, leaving no gaps, tracking runners and working harder to snuff out danger.
Carey should have reduced the arrears for Lynn with two clear chances, one which was blocked and the other he put wide, both from close range.
After fantastic work by Summerfield to win the ball then play in Chadwick, the striker's shot was well saved, but Town had done enough.
Halifax: Johnson, Byrne, Maher, Bradbury (Senior 75), King, Summerfield, Woods (Allen 78), Williams, Earing (Green 68), Chadwick, Hyde. Subs not used: Davison-Hale, Clarke.
Scorers: Chadwick (42), Hyde (45), Summerfield (50)
Shots on target: 12
Shots off target: 11
King's Lynn: Richardson, Howard, Callan-McFadden, Baggott, Denton, Coleman (Babos 69), Clunan, King (Kiwomya 63), Carey, Gash, Jackson (Gyasi 69). Subs not used: Fleming, Payne.
Scorers: Gash (13), Carey (25)
Shots on target: 6
Shots off target: 5
Referee: Gareth Rhodes
Town man of the match: Unlike Tuesday, plenty of contenders, but Billy Chadwick takes it for sparking Town's comeback with his goal and an energetic, lively display, offering great movement and link-up play.