FC Halifax Town ended Kidderminster’s 13-game home winning run with a superb 2-1 win at Aggborough thanks to goals from Tom Denton and Jordan Sinnott.
It didn’t look good for Town after Joe Ironside headed the hosts in front during a dominant first quarter of the game, but Halifax absorbed their early pressure and went in level at the break, with Kidderminster missing a penalty, before Sinnott’s late penalty won it.
Kidderminster hadn’t lost at home in over five months and had only been defeated twice at home all season, but Town are now just two points beneath them in the table after a performance of grit, determination and discipline from Billy Heath’s team. It also helps when you score your penalties.
Sam Johnson didn’t have a save to make last week, but was pressed into action twice inside the first five minutes from Jordan Tunniclife and Ironside as Kidderminster started strongly.
By the time they took the lead, the goal had been coming, with Arthur Gnahoua given too much time to shoot on the edge of the box before his effort was deflected over. Johnson made a doomed attempt to reach James McQuilkin’s corner and ran into the crowd, leaving Ironside to head into the unguarded net.
It was only what the hosts deserved for an opening full of incisive attacking play, with good movement and clever short passes forward; Halifax were chasing shadows at the back.
A lovely one-two between the impressive Ironside - a huge improvement on the embryonic footballer Town signed on loan in 2013 - and Elton Ngwatala preceded a low shot by Ironside which Johnson dived down to save.
Kidderminster were dominating Halifax as Halifax had dominated FC United the previous Saturday; Denton was the focal point of pretty much everything last week, but he looked an isolated figure as Town struggled to contain a voracious home side.
By the time Town registered their first effort, Kidderminster had notched seven, but Dion Charles should have done better than to head wide unmarked from Sinnott’s cross.
However, a minute later, Denton buried Kevin Roberts’ cross with a bullet header low beyond Sam Hornby as Kidderminster conceded for the first time in five hours at home.
On the balance of play it was an undeserved equaliser, but testament to the character in Billy Heath’s team, who could have crumbled under the early pressure.
That goal brought about a more even game though, with Hornby acrobatically tipping a Sinnott piledriver over the bar for a rejuvenated Halifax before Scott Garner appeared to be pulled back during a goalmouth scramble from the resulting corner.
Kidderminster twice almost regained the lead just before the break though, first when Tunnicliffe’s header was brilliantly saved by Johnson, and then McQuilkin fired an awful penalty wide of goal after Ryan Croasdale was pushed by Sinnott.
It was a more even and less frenetic second-half, but Johnson was forced into two more outstanding saves inside the first 10 minutes from Daniel Nti’s header and McQuilkin’s volley.
Denton was then unlucky to see his superb looping header hit the upright from Sinnott’s lofted free-kick.
The tension increased as the chances decreased the longer the second-half went on, with both sides aware of the significance of the next goal, which would probably win it.
And win it it did, as Sinnott sent Hornby the wrong way from the spot after substitute Cliff Moyo was tripped in the box to seal one of Town’s finest results of the season.
Kidderminster: Hornby, Hodgkiss, Lowe, Tunicliffe, Francis-Angol, Nti (Austin 68), McQuilkin, Croasdale, Gnahoua (Brown 85), Ngwatala (Knights 85), Ironside. Subs not used: Williams, Waite.
Scorer: Ironside (11)
Shots on target: 9
Shots off target: 7
Halifax: Johnson, Roberts, Garner, Hotte, Wilde, Clarke (Peniket 57), King (Moyo 83), Sinnott, Lynch, Charles, Denton. Subs not used: Drench, Morgan, Hone.
Scorers: Denton, (30), Sinnott, (84)
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 6
Town man of the match: Sam Johnson
Referee: Matthew Donohue