FC Halifax Town 0-1 Eastleigh

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FC Halifax Town’s wait for a league win goes on after they lost 1-0 at home to Eastleigh.

The Shaymen got back to winning ways in midweek against Warrington in the FA Cup, but it’s now six draws and four defeats in the league for Town since beating Gateshead on August 27.

Eastleigh came to The Shay above Town in the table and with more points away than at home, but also without a manager and having been knocked out of the cup by a lower league side.

But The Shaymen failed to reproduce their improved showing from Tuesday night, and were more like the Town that played so poorly in their 2-2 at Warrington a week ago.

Josh Hare’s second-half header proved decisive, but even after a very disappointing display, Josh Staunton should have rescued a point late on but blasted over from close range.

Kyle Wootton, recalled by Scunthorpe, and Jordan Preston, who was injured, were both absent from the squad, while Niall Maher made a starting return, and Matty Brown was on the bench.

Neither side showed enough quality to seize control of the contest, with poor control or sloppy passes letting both teams down throughout the first-half.

Too often, the ball wasn’t sticking up-front for Town, with the likes of Jonathan Edwards, Dayle Southwell and Matty Kosylo not getting into their stride.

Halifax got into some good crossing positions, but the delivery was poor, and easily dealt with.

Ditto with their set-pieces.

Eastleigh came closest to scoring in the first-half, with Mark Yeates cutting in on his right-foot and bringing an excellent save from Sam Johnson with a long-range shot that was heading into the top corner.

Controversy would have abounded had the visitors taken their best chance, when Paul McCallum raced clean through at an angle, despite looking offside, but Johnson saved his shot before two further efforts were blocked, including one cleared off the line by Ryan Sellers.

Right-back Hare also forced Johnson into a save from a quickly taken free-kick.

Jacob Hanson was Town’s best outlet marauding down the right, with Kosylo afforded precious little time and space on the ball on the opposite flank.

The Shaymen produced some decent build-up play at times, but lacked a flourish of creativity or craft, with their only shot on target before the break a Southwell shot deflected straight to the keeper.

This Town side look most potent when attacking with pace and urgency, but there just wasn’t enough of that.

Halifax appeared to build a bit of momentum after the interval with a couple of corners, the second of which came after a jinking run by King, but his cross was scrambled away.

However, Eastleigh edged ahead when a superb free-kick by Yeates was met with Hare’s bullet header 10 yards out.

A delightful lofted pass sent Edwards clear shortly afterwards, but the striker was caught before getting a shot away.

But there was no immediate response to speak of from Halifax, who couldn’t find any rhythm, and failed to test the visiting keeper.

It took young loanee Hanson to force the issue, as his lung-busting run resulted in a corner with five minutes left, but again, Eastleigh cleared it.

From the next one, the ball was recycled and eventually fell to Staunton, but he blazed over from six yards.

Halifax: Johnson, Hanson, Clarke, Skarz (Odelusi 77), Sellers, Staunton, Maher, King, Southwell, Kosylo, Edwards. Subs not used: Brown, McLeod, Lenighan.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 1

Corners: 6

Eastleigh: Stryjek, Hare, Green, Gobern (Jones 87), McCallum, Yeates (Bearwish 90), Boyce, Wynter, Miley, Williamson (Dennett 90), Hollands. Subs not used: Flitney, Harvey.

Scorer: Hare (57)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 2

Attendance: 1,343

Referee: Tom Reeves

Town man of the match: Jacob Hanson