FC Halifax Town recorded a sensational 3-0 win at Leyton Orient to move up to second place in the National League.
Adam Morgan and Tom Denton put Town into a barely-believable 2-0 half-time lead before Matty Kosylo’s penalty capped a magnificent night for The Shaymen; surely their best result yet under Billy Heath.
Town were nothing short of outstanding, to a man contributing tireless running with a willingness to put their bodies on the line.
The Shaymen were hungrier than Orient, and were rewarded for a performance full of effort, endeavour and not short of quality either, to the point where singling a player out to be man of the match seemed grossly unfair and almost impossible.
Leyton Orient were unbeaten at home before the game, but were well and truly beaten by full-time, with Town still yet to even concede a goal on the road this season.
If Town were in the nose-bleed territory of sixth before kick-off, Morgan’s goal put them joint-top of the league as The Shaymen made the perfect start, with the striker turning sharply eight yards out to fire high into the net left-footed.
It didn’t take long for Town’s lead to look fragile though, with Matt Harrold missing a sitter six yards out before Romuald Boco squandered two clear chances inside the penalty box.
Top-scorer Macauley Bonne then had a shot saved before his flick header went across goal and wide from a corner as Orient responded well to falling behind.
The hosts were clearly blessed with quality attacking players, with Jobi McAnuff and Bonne possessing good movement and awareness.
Halifax retained a threat on the break though, with only Michael Clark’s last-ditch clearance preventing Denton, at his unplayable best all evening, tapping-in Kosylo’s low cross.
That only postponed Denton finding the net though as the Town man met a flighted free-kick at the far post with a bullet header to double the visitors’ lead as the game reached eyebrow-raising proportions.
It almost reached eye-popping proportions when the flag wrongly stayed down to allow Morgan in on goal, but he fired wide of the far post from an angle before the striker was again just off target from Denton’s nod down.
If the first goal sparked Orient into life, the second sapped them of it altogether with numerous passes going astray from the hosts and a rampant Town scenting blood; the difference was remarkable as the hosts lost any semblance of shape or composure.
The hosts’ defence was crumbling as a razor-sharp Town carved them open time and again, with Nathan Hotte shooting tamely at goal before Denton’s header was kept out by Charlie Grainger.
McAnuff curled a fantastic shot off the post shortly before half-time, but by now that was against the run of play, as emphasised by the smattering of boos from the home crowd that greeted the half-time whistle; music to Billy Heath’s ears.
There was no sign of an immediate response from Orient as Scott Garner and Kosylo both had chances after the restart.
There were glimmers of light for the hosts in the descending gloom at Brisbane Road, with ex-Town man Craig Clay’s long-range drive whistling over and David Mooney a certainty to score but for a slip two yards out at the vital moment.
But the game was put beyond doubt when Kosylo sent Grainger the wrong way from the spot to the sound of stunned silence - apart from the jubilant 153 Town fans - after Morgan had been fouled in the box.
Leyton Orient: Grainger, Caprice, Sendles-White, Clark, Widdowson, McAnuff, Lawless, Boco (Mooney 61), Clay, Harrold (Koroma 87), Bonne. Subs not used: Sargeant, Happe, Ochieng.
Shots on target: 4
Shots off target: 14
Halifax: Johnson, Wilde, Garner, Brown, McManus, Macdonald (Tomlinson 69), Hotte, Oliver, Kosylo (Charles 89), Morgan (Moyo 81), Denton. Subs not used: Lynch, Nicholson.
Scorers: Morgan (4), Denton (29), Kosylo (74)
Shots on target: 7
Shots off target: 4
Referee: Christopher Pollard
Town man of the match: Tom Denton