Substitute Jordan White scored with his first touch only 30 seconds after coming on to condemn FC Halifax Town to a 1-0 defeat by Barrow.
There appears to be no end in sight to Town’s now 12-game winless run as a Halifax side beset by injury problems and lacking in confidence slumped to a sixth defeat in nine matches.
This Halifax team is clearly in need of new faces, but for whatever reason still hasn’t had them.
Billy Heath’s team selection was severely hampered by numerous absentees, and still lacked the energy and dynamism that flowed through the side back in the early weeks of the campaign.
Halifax weren’t brilliant here but they didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. But five points from a possible 36 tells its own story, as does no wins in seven home matches and one clean sheet in 10.
Whether the answer to Halifax’s slump is a new manager is a question only David Bosomworth can answer.
Ben Tomlinson and Danny Clarke were strapped-up to feature from the off, but Town failed to replicate their fast-paced start from a week ago; they weren’t 2-0 down after 22 minutes either though, so that was a bonus.
Billy Heath’s selection of Tom Denton and George Waring in attack dictated that a lot of high balls were played up to them, and it was a scrappy contest as a result, with both teams battling over second balls and nod downs.
Clarke’s 25-yard volley wide of goal was all Town had to show for a pedestrian first 20 minutes, but things livened up a bit when Denton headed Waring’s cross wide before Scott Garner’s clearing tackle on the halfway line nearly ended up flying over goalkeeper Stuart Moore and in.
Halifax then came close three times in as many minutes when Josh Wilde’s driven shot across goal hit the post before Waring failed to beat the prone Moore on the rebound from six yards, hitting his shot straight at the keeper.
Tomlinson then spurned another great chance when he crashed a shot against the underside of the bar from eight yards after Denton’s nod down.
The Shaymen couldn’t afford to be so wasteful in their current form. The last time they held a lead at half-time was when they won 3-0 at Leyton Orient on September 12 - but they should have done so again here.
Halifax did have the look of a patched-up, forced-together side and were understandably disjointed at times.
Waring was a tad off the pace and out of sync, having not started in over a month, while the hosts were a little unbalanced, with Tomlinson playing out-of-position on the left due to the absence of any other options.
Barrow possessed more pace in attack, particularly through the dangerous Adi Yussuf, and were a sporadic threat on the break, but stand-in keeper Tom Nicholson had nothing to do other than save a timid long-range shot by the impressive Bedsente Gomis.
Town remained in the ascendancy after the interval, but didn’t possess the requisite tools to break Barrow down, such as a Matty Kosylo. It was more hit and hope than creativity and craft
Josh Macdonald and Clarke both got sight of goal midway through a poor second-half, but neither struck their shots particularly well.
With only their second effort on goal, Barrow then grabbed the lead against the run of play through White’s flick header from Bradley Bauress’ cross.
Had Gomis scored when a cross found him unmarked 12 yards out a few minutes later, the result would have been beyond doubt.
It pretty much was anyway as Town’s efforts at equalising looked increasingly desperate as the clock ticked down.
Halifax: Nicholson, Clackstone, Brown, Garner, Wilde, Macdonald (Morgan 68), Clarke, Hibbs, Tomlinson (Middleton 55), Waring (Oliver 77), Denton. Subs not used: Atkinson, Moyo.
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 10
Barrow: Moore, Bignot, Dunne, Diarra, Macdonald, Hall, Gomis, Panayiotou, Bauress (Barthram 88), Harrison, Yussuf (White 69). Subs not used: Dixon, Holt, Diagne.
Scorer: White (70)
Shots on target: 2
Shots off target: 8
Referee: Simeon Lucas
Town man of the match: Tom Denton