FC Halifax Town 1-3 Woking

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FC Halifax Town suffered only their second home league defeat of the season after they were beaten 3-1 by Woking at the Shay.

It’s now three straight defeats for the Shaymen, who last experienced form like that almost exactly a year ago.

There could be no arguments about the result as Woking deservedly moved up to third in the table, and on this form, could be there for some time.

If there was a hotel at the Shay, which was one of the redevelopment ideas put forward by Calderdale Council recently, any guests might have been tempted to close the curtains as Town were a shadow of the side that pushed Bradford so close a week previously.

Guiseppe Sole’s stunning free-kick was preceded by a brace from Adam Newton as Woking raced into a 3-0 lead before Paul Marshall’s penalty.

It’s now seven goals in two games at the Shay for the Cards; not many sides can boast a record like that.

The BT Sport cameras were here for the second consecutive Sunday; they might as well re-name it the FC Halifax Town channel at this rate.

But after the exhilarating sight and sound of more than 8,000 fans packed into the Shay, it was a little underwhelming to see so many empty spaces on the terraces by comparison.

The difference in atmosphere was stark as Town settled back into league mode; at least last week’s din drowned out Megaphone Man’s loudspeaker.

But the next time BT come calling, Town might be tempted to take the phone off the hook, with another less than super Sunday to add to defeats against Cambridge, twice, and Bradford on the box.

Sean McGinty, making his home debut, had a shaky start with an unnecessary header straight into Scott Rendell’s path, but Matt Glennon saved his shot.

McGinty was the sole home debutant after fellow loanee Josh Gillies picked up an injury at parent club Carlisle.

Town fielded a well-balanced attack of Richard Peniket and Adam Smith flanking Scott Boden, but the hosts made a disjointed start, although Woking didn’t fare much better.

It wasn’t quite England v Slovenia, but it took its time getting going, with Guiseppe Sole squandering a golden chance from eight yards out when Glennon saved his prod at goal.

But that was just a warning as Sole produced a thunderbolt a couple of minutes later as his free-kick, the awarding of which was questionable at best, arrowed into the top-left corner from 35 yards.

That caused a few murmurs of concern among the more restless Town supporters, and the jitters seemed to spread to the pitch as the usually unflappable Marc Roberts’ slip let in Sole, but Glennon raced off his line to divert the shot.

Town’s front three just couldn’t get going, while Woking looked more composed in possession against a Halifax side who needed something to spark them into life.

The murmurs were gradually getting louder as half-time approached, with Town giving the Altrincham game a run for its money in terms of performance, albeit against better opposition.

The feeling it wasn’t going to be Town’s day was then compounded when Rendell’s shot was deflected perfectly into Newton’s path, leaving him with a simple finish.

Town’s opening half was then encapsulated in added time when a mix-up between Scott McManus and Kevin Roberts let in Sole, whose delightful chip over Glennon hit the bar.

Town ended the half with only one shot at goal; a rare occurrence indeed.

The introduction of Danny Schofield at the break saw Town switch to 4-4-2 and the hosts did look better for it.

Referee Martin Coy prompted another rendition of ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Doing’ when he booked Peniket for the striker’s protests after the award of a goal kick rather than a corner.

It really wasn’t going to be Town’s day.

The Shaymen were at least forcing Woking onto the back foot, although Jake Cole remained untroubled behind a resolute defence.

Any faint hopes Town had built up since the restart were then all-but extinguished when Newton calmly slotted past Glennon from Chris Arthur’s low cross.

Jamie Jackson at least added some incisiveness after coming on, and from his direct run, Town were given a penalty after James Clarke’s foul, which Marshall duly converted.

Adam Smith’s late effort would have made for an interesting four minutes of stoppage time, but Cole just about saved his rasping drive at the second attempt.

Halifax: Glennon, K Roberts, M Roberts, Ainge, McGinty (Schofield 46), McManus, Marshall, Maynard, Smith, Boden (Jackson 64), Peniket. Subs not used: Senior, Bolton, Pearson.

Scorer: Marshall (72)

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 3

Corners: 3

Woking: Cole, Newton, McNerney, Clarke, Cestor, Betsy, Payne, Lewis, Arthur, Sole Goddard 77), Rendell. Subs not used: Howie, Beckles, Taylor.

Scorer: Sole (24), Newton (44, 59)

Shots on target: 7

Shots off target: 2

Corners: 7

Attendance: 1,415

Town man of the match: Jamie Jackson