FC Halifax Town 3-0 Barnet

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Goals from Devante Rodney, James Ferry and Manny Duku saw FC Halifax Town beat Barnet 3-0 at The Shay and move up to 12th in the National League.

Rodney’s goal was Town’s first at The Shay since January 12, and very welcome after drawing three consecutive home blanks.

That was added to after the interval by Ferry’s second goal in as many games.

The Shaymen were good value for their win against an unimpressive Barnet, scoring more than once at home in the league for the first time since August 18.

Substitute Duku added the gloss as The Shaymen eased to their first home victory since November 20 - and their biggest since beating Maidstone 3-0 on August 11 - with any hopes of an unlikely Barnet comeback extinguished when they then missed a penalty.

The two sides meet again next Tuesday; if Town play like this, they’ll surely win again. Barnet probably can’t play much worse.

A pitch bedraggled by the exploits of the rugby club in awful weather didn’t help either side’s endeavours.

James Hardy found space 25 yards out early on but his shot wasn’t struck with enough conviction and was easily saved by Mark Cousins.

The Barnet keeper also had to be alert to palm away a corner that looked in danger of going straight in.

Hardy then played a perfectly-weighted through ball to Scott Quigley - Town’s only change in place of Manny Duku - who rounded Cousins but failed to find the net from near the corner of the six-yard box.

Michael Duckworth, showing willingness to go forward from right-back, then sent a shot crashing just over, as Town made a far more productive start.

The Shaymen were aggressive in the tackle, and produced some neat, quick passing in advanced areas, particularly through Hardy and Matty Kosylo.

Front two Quigley and Rodney got into some good areas, but the final ball let them down.

Town’s superiority culminated in Rodney’s goal, when he gobbled up the rebound after Kosylo’s shot was saved by Cousins, rifling into the net from an angle for his first league goal since September 29.

Barnet had offered limited attacking threat, with Nathan Clarke and Matty Brown typically dominant at the back.

Brown and Duckworth were called upon to bravely block as The Bees sought an immediate response amid some goalmouth pressure, but Town stood strong.

The Bees looked disjointed in comparison to a more fluid Halifax, with the pace of Rodney offering a genuine threat in-behind that has all too often been lacking this season.

There was a confidence and sharpness about Halifax going forward that wasn’t there against Aldershot and Havant and Waterlooville, allied to a ravenous work rate.

The change in system retained from the win at Eastleigh was again paying dividends; it looked like Town had been playing it all season.

In contrast, Barnet had failed to get going, beset by heavy touches and poor passes.

They didn’t get much better after the interval, enjoying more possession closer to Halifax’s goal, but doing little with it.

So Town’s second already looked to have set them well on the way to a win, when Hardy’s clever cut-back was met by a rather scruffy shot by Ferry, that Cousins will have been disappointed not to have kept out at his near post.

Rodney’s pace then got him free down the right, before his cut-back put the ball on a plate for the inexplicably-unmarked Duku, who swept in from close range against the club he scored three league goals for earlier this season.

Shaquile Coulthirst was then awarded a penalty, but his poor spot-kick was kept out by the previously redundant Sam Johnson. Bu Town didn’t deserve even that minor blemish on the night, and now have seven clean sheets from their last eight games.

Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Clarke, Brown, Sellers, Maher, Ferry (Staunton 77), Hardy (King 69(, Kosylo, Quigley (Duku 64), Rodney. Subs not used: Rowley, Preston.

Scorers: Rodney (36), Ferry (60), Duku (73)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 2

Barnet: Cousins, Alexander (Tutonda 85), Reynolds, Robson, Johnson, Sweeney, Barham (Tarpey 65), Taylor, Fonguck (Akinola 58), Elito, Coulthirst. Subs not used: Matrevics, Mason-Clark.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 5

Corners: 5

Attendance: 1,085

Referee: Gareth Rhodes

Town man of the match: Devante Rodney