Chesterfield 1-0 FC Halifax Town

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Former Halifax striker Scott Boden came back to haunt his old club with the winning goal as The Shaymen lost 1-0 at Chesterfield.

It’s now six hours without a goal for Town, who now have only a two-point cushion between them and the bottom four. No goals in five of their last six games tells the story.

The Shaymen didn’t replicate their recent impressive performances against Barrow and Salford, producing a display lacking in the required quality going forward.

They still would have left with a useful point were it not for the decision to award a penalty after the interval, when Boden went down under an apparent shove in the back by Matty Brown.

Matty Kosylo had an early free-kick tipped over by Shwan Jalal after Scott Quigley had been dragged down 20 yards out.

New signing Ellis Chapman - one of Chesterfield’s two wing-backs who were both pushing high up the pitch - found too much space down the left to cross, which Clarke cleared, before the Town defender then bravely blocked Jonathan Smith’s shot.

Haydn Hollis then met a dangerous free-kick with a header than needed Sam Johnson’s tip behind.

Chesterfield were certainly enjoying the territorial advantage, using their wide-men to push Town back, while Boden was finding some useful pockets of space.

Kosylo, as in the return game, looked Town’s best outlet, and linked-up well with Quigley on a couple of occasions inside the first 20 minutes, but there was no end product.

Kosylo came in off the left flank to good effect too, releasing Jordan Preston - who replaced eye ulcer victim Dayle Southwell - and his mis-hit cross was tipped over by Jalal.

Boden’s clever pass played in wing-back Lee Shaw down the Chesterfield right, but his cross was cleared with the Town defence badly stretched.

To be fair, that was one of the few times the Town defence was dragged out of its comfort zone, with Chesterfield possessing the running but not the composure to create chances.

It was a similar story for Town, for whom Quigley generally held the ball up well and used it effectively, but the visitors made no further inroads than a few shots blocked from in and around the edge of the box, despite some nice build-up play at times.

Town were caught on the break a few minutes before half-time when Shaw burst towards the box, but his low shot across goal from the right of the box was turned behind by Sam Johnson.

Marc-Antoine Fortune then saw a tame shot roll just wide across goal from the corner of the six yard box two minutes before the break after Cameron King’s header was easily saved.

Chesterfield started the second-half better too, with Town’s inability to retain the ball for any meaningful length of time meaning the hosts kept coming back at them, but The Shaymen repelled the hosts’ crosses.

One that did find the head of Boden on the hour mark was headed harmlessly wide from eight yards, before Curtis Weston volleyed a yard or two over from the edge of the area.

Town had at least offered a threat of their own at times in the first-half, but there was nothing of the sort after the interval, although at least defensively they were keeping the home side at bay.

That was until Boden was adjudged to have been barged over in the box by Brown, and the former Town man dusted himself down to send Johnson the wrong way from the spot, as Halifax conceded their first goal in just over five-and-a-half hours.

Their lack of a goal threat had to change now.

Substitute Tom Denton’s flick from close range was somehow kept out by Johnson as Chesterfield threatened a second.

Halifax had the ball in decent areas around the Chesterfield box, but lacked the incisiveness to go beyond it.

Smith showed the way in that respect with a well-struck effort as the clock ticked down that Johnson beat away.

Town did apply some late pressure, during which Quigley spurned a chance by heading a cross wide at the far post.

Kosylo then slid a low cross into the six yard box after a good run, but no-one was there for the tap-in.

Chesterfield: Jalal, Evans, Chapman, Yarney, Weir, Smith, Weston, Hollis, Shaw, Fortune (Denton 66), Boden (McKay 90). Subs not used: Anyon, Rowley, Reid.

Scorer: Boden (pen 69)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 5

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Skarz, Berrett, Maher, Preston (Tomlinson 75), King (Edwards 72), Kosylo, Quigley. Subs not used: Rowley, Staunton, Ferry.

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 6

Corners: 9

Attendance: 4,523

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Town man of the match: Sam Johnson