FC Halifax Town 2-1 Dagenham and Redbridge

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Dag and Red, at the MBI Shay
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Dag and Red, at the MBI Shay

Two goals in three second-half minutes saw FC Halifax Town come from behind to beat Dagenham and Redbridge 2-1 at The Shay.

Dagenham took the lead thanks to a huge deflection to Charlee Adams’ long-range shot five minutes before half-time.

But Halifax made it 10 points from their last 12 available thanks to an own goal by Luke Howells and a first goal for the club for Mike Fondop-Talom.

Halifax were by far the better side, producing a performance infused with confidence, intensity and energy.

There can be no doubt the appointment of Fullarton has had the desired response; improving results and lifting the mood.

There was an sense of creeping optimism among supporters at The Shay due to the new manager effect, with the spectre of relegation becoming increasingly distant, with the gap to the bottom four now an insurmountable-looking 10 points.

One of Fullarton’s first proclamations upon becoming Town boss was that he wanted possession with a purpose, and that was a fair summation of the home side’s approach, with Raheem Hanley and Ben Tomlinson providing good width on the flanks and Matty Kosylo trying to link-up with Fandop-Talom through the middle.

Halifax’s attacking intent was emphasised by a rapid counter-attack initiated by Michael Collins’ excellent interception inside his own half. He then found Kosylo charging through the middle, who then played in Hanley, who fired over from a tight angle. It would have been some goal.

It was an open contest, as Dagenham cut through an exposed Town back-four, with Sam Johnson saving well from Michael Cheek.

Going forward, Town were mobile, pacey and fluent with Collins and Nathan Hotte screening the back four effectively. Just before the half-hour mark, Duckworth sped down the right before the ball was worked across to the impressive Hanley, whose shot was deflected wide.

It wasn’t all Town though, with Luke Howell’s shot saved by Johnson after three Dagenham players failed to make contact with a dangerous cross.

And from their next attack, which were hardly relentless, Adams rampaged through the middle of the pitch before his speculative 40-yard shot took a massive deflection off Niall Maher and looped high over the stranded Johnson.

Town were the dominant side after the interval, often driven on by the influential Collins, with Tomlinson, Fondop-Talom and Hanley all going close before the hour mark.

Tomlinson saw a shot deflected just wide, then Nathan Hotte’s wayward cross hit the top of the bar; the longer it went on, the more cruel that Dagenham goal looked.

But Halifax’s luck turned, and deservedly so, as Scott McManus’ cross was turned into his own net by Howells.

And the comeback was completed when Hotte’s shot was deflected into the path of Fondop-Talom, who could hardly miss from close range.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Brown, Maher, McManus, Tomlinson, Hanley (Hibbs 74), Collins, Hotte, Kosylo, Fondop-Talom (Thomson 80). Subs not used: Nicholson, Oliver, Denton.

Scorers: Howells (og 67), Fondop-Talom (69)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 11

Dagenham: Cousins, Nunn, Robson, Robinson (Bouncard 78), Pennell, Howell, Adams, Sparkes, Howells, Cheek (Bloomfield 89), Okenabirhie (Kandi 72). Subs not used: Moore, N’Gala.

Scorer: Adams (40)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 3

Corners: 3

Attendance: 1,315

Referee: Simeon Lucas

Town man of the match: Michael Collins