Shaymen get their season back on track with 3-1 victory at Dorking Wanderers

FC Halifax Town got their faltering season back on track with a 3-1 win at Dorking Wanderers.

Two goals from Max Wright and one from Andrew Oluwabori saw The Shaymen respond in fine style to a dreadful run of form that has left the top seven retreating into the distance.

Halifax scored three goals in a game for the first time since the win at home to Maidstone in April last year and played the best they have for a while.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It wasn't perfect, and there is plenty of room for improvement, but Town showed quality in-front of goal when it mattered and showed that the three points mattered with a performance built on collective effort and work rate.

Only Dagenham and Redbridge had a more hospitable environment for visiting teams in the division than Dorking

And the hosts were extremely accommodating when a through ball put Jamie Cooke in-behind their defence, and he unselfishly squared it for Oluwabori to tap-in Halifax's quickest goal of the season.

The much-maligned Oluwabori came close to a sensational second when he fired narrowly wide after jinking past four Dorking challenges.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It had been a positive start but Dorking grew into the contest, missing a chance to level when Matty Blair dragged a shot wide after bursting through a non-existent Halifax backline.

But the Dorking winger set-up their equaliser midway through the half when he nodded a cross from the right back into the danger zone and Charlie Carter converted.

Blair nearly completed the turnaround but shot wide inside the box.

Oluwabori and Kane Thomson-Sommers, two of four to come in as well as Tylor Golden and Jack Jenkins, undoubtedly added some energy and dynamism to the side; the energy to regain possession and the dynamism to run with the ball and commit defenders.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It was an open game, with action capable of swinging one end to the other at pace: Cooke headed Golden's cross wide and then The Shaymen had a flurry of chances as Dorking recovered from a shaky start defensively to look a bit more solid.

Jamie Stott led Halifax's defensive resilience, repeatedly heading away the hosts' long throws and crosses from set-pieces.

A half-time lead could have been either team's, but Wright put The Shaymen back in-front with a left-footed shot from the edge of the box to make it the first time Halifax had scored twice in the first-half away from home all season.

It had at least been more proactive and productive from Town, and not the timid and uninspired output from Tuesday night.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

They were still a work in progress though, as evidenced when Jordan Keane won the ball back in his own box but then his hesitancy handed it back to Dorking and he needed a goal-line clearance to spare his blushes.

It was evidenced again when a sloppy pass put Town in big trouble before Dorking had two penalty shouts turned down one after the other, leaving captain Tony Craig booked for dissent and manager Marc White fuming.

Halifax weren't helping themselves by failing to keep the ball when they had it as Dorking built momentum.

It was one-way traffic since the restart, with Town relying on organisation, discipline and the head of Jamie Stott to keep Dorking out.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Shaymen weren't disciplined enough on the ball, constantly losing it seconds after they had it, to do much else other than absorb what Dorking produced.

But for all their possession, the hosts gave Sam Johnson hardly anything to do.

Blair's free kick flashed wide from 20 yards, but Dorking lacked the guile or craft to break Halifax down.

And Town wrapped it up when Adan George did brilliantly to hold the ball up and send Cooke away on a counter before Wright was played in and finished deftly one on one.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Harrison Male then denied Wright a hat-trick with fine double-save, with Dorking now restricted to keeping the score respectable.

Dorking: Male, Francomb (Moore 64), Hollis, Craig, McManus, Muitt (Briggs 68), Pybus (Gallagher 37), J Taylor, Blair, Carter, Prior. Subs not used: B Taylor, Cook.

Scorer: Carter (24)

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 7

Halifax: Johnson, Golden, Keane, Stott, Galvin (Evans 55), Thomson-Sommers, Jenkins (Hunter 55), Wright, Cooke, Oluwabori (Senior 78), George. Subs not used: Wilson, Cosgrave

Scorers: Oluwabori (4), Wright (45, 82)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 13

Corners: 6

Attendance: 1,604

Referee: Elliot Swallow

Town man of the match: Jamie Stott. Made countless headed clearances to repel Dorking's long throws and set-pieces, and his distribution was better than in recent games too. A dominant performance.

Related topics: