Halifax beaten at home by Dorking Wanderers in another frustrating afternoon at The Shay

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FC Halifax Town produced another disappointing home performance as they lost 1-0 to Dorking Wanderers.

Tony Craig's first-half header was enough to seal only Dorking's fifth away win in 28 attempts at this level since the start of last season.

This had more than faint echoes of home defeats against Scunthorpe and Maidenhead last term, with Halifax surrendering limply and meekly against a hard-working but limited opposition.

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This was not the side that had won so thrillingly at Oldham and Rochdale. The Shaymen are not hitting anywhere near the standards required on home soil.

The ShayThe Shay
The Shay

At least their next two games are away, just a shame they're at Chesterfield and Barnet.

Who else but Luke Summerfield nearly opened the scoring after a minute but his shot was turned behind for a corner by Harrison Male.

It was a more open and expansive Halifax than against Southend last weekend, but Dorking were too.

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The visitors tried to make a front five with the ball, pushing their wing-backs high up the pitch, forcing Halifax into a back five without it.

Midfielder Dan Pybus was repeatedly dropping deep, untracked, and controlling the game for the visitors, with Dorking having spells of possession, mainly around their back three, that Town were not, taking the sting, and the atmosphere, out of the game.

Adam Senior's shot from 25 yards 20 minutes after Summerfield's, again tipped behind, was Town's next attempt. At least they were having some, but they were making hard work of it.

It was better than last Saturday, but not much, and it wasn't the dominant performance some Halifax fans may have been expecting against a team struggling near the foot of the table.

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Dorking's first goal in just over five hours arrived ten minutes before half-time when a short corner was crossed to Craig at the far post, who headed in from five yards.

The muted reaction from the home fans intimated it wasn't entirely unexpected based on the preceding 35 minutes.

Halifax were too passive and timid, letting Dorking pass it around at the back too easily and too often rather than showing some aggression in their attempts to regain possession high up the pitch.

When they did, it invariably worked, but it wasn't happening enough.

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The Town fans were waiting to be given something to shout about, but nothing really arrived.

The Shaymen were too disjointed, sometimes guilty of over-playing, sometimes making the wrong choice on the ball or making it too late. Sometimes there just wasn't enough quality.

The onus was on Halifax, even more so now, to produce some urgency and tempo, move the ball quickly and purposefully, but it wasn't materialising.

Chris Millington switched to a lesser-spotted 4-3-3 on the hour mark, bringing on Jack Evans; if anyone could inject some urgency into proceedings it was the rambunctious midfielder.

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But it seemed the more Town tried, they got further away to an equaliser: Rob Harker took a quick throw but then gave the ball away, Ryan Galvin's throw-in went straight for a Dorking goal kick, Milli Alli took too long to shoot on the edge of the box and was tackled.

Halifax were dominating the ball in pursuit of a leveller but were devoid of incisiveness, penetration or a cutting edge. Their attacks were futile, exasperating, unproductive; like trying to unpick a lock with a brick.

After nearly a whole second-half of fruitless, guileless endeavour, Aaron Cosgrave was brought on three minutes from the end, by which point Halifax were still to test the Dorking keeper since the restart, and it remained that way at full-time.

Halifax: Johnson, Senior, Cummings (Evans 59), Stott, Golden, Summerfield, Hunter (Cosgrave 87), Galvin, Cooke (Wright 66), Alli, Harker. Subs not used: Keane, Chikukwa

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Dorking: Male, Craig, Francomb, B-J Taylor (Kennedy 83), Pybus, J Taylor, Gallagher, Blair (Ottaway 58), Bowerman, Seager (McShane 67), Prior. Subs not used: Kuhl, Lankshear.

Attendance: 1,467

Referee: Andrew Humphries

Town man of the match: Tylor Golden. Did OK, made some good runs off the ball and picked out some good passes.