Shaymen suffer fourth defeat in five with loss at high-flying Notts County

Meadow Lane (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)Meadow Lane (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Meadow Lane (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
FC Halifax Town lost for the fourth time in five games as they were defeated 1-0 at high-flying Notts County.

Macaulay Langstaff's 23rd league goal of the season won it - he'll probably not have scored an easier one after another defensive error by The Shaymen.

As they did on Wednesday, Halifax shot themselves in the foot with a defensive howler that gifted the opposition the lead.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And that lead never looked remotely under threat in as one-sided a game as you could wish to see.

Langstaff had an early header ruled out for offside, while the returning Jamie Stott - one of four to come in as well as Jack Hunter, Mani Dierseruvwe and debutant Adam Senior - then nearly saw a clearance go into his own net.

Even ten minutes in, it was starting to feel a bit relentless.

It had been all County from the off, the game played nearly exclusively inside the Halifax half.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The pacey Aaron Nemane looked to have the beating of Tylor Golden, playing at left wing-back as Chris Millington reverted to the 3-4-2-1 that had served him well earlier in the season.

In reality, it was more of a 5-4-1, giving Town little chance of making an impact in attack, but designed to protect them from what was a formidable looking home side, who hadn't lost at home in the league all season and boasted the division's top scorer.

Jamie Cooke and Harvey Gilmour, in support of Dierseruvwe, worked hard trying to stop County playing out from the back, while Town were well-organised and disciplined.

They didn't help themselves though by wasting what little they saw of the ball, giving it straight back every time, only reinforcing the notion Town are generally better without the ball than with it.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Kyle Cameron shot over after Jordan Keane lost the ball in midfield, before Sam Johnson was tested for the first time by Adam Chicksen's shot.

There were other efforts off target by Matty Palmer and Langstaff from inside the box.

But after keeping the door pretty firmly closed, the league's top-scorer was inexplicably allowed to climb in through the window as an awful back pass by Stott let in Langstaff, who rounded Johnson and tapped in.

Thirty-seven minutes of good work undone in an instant.

Town survived to half-time unscathed any further - a second before the break would have left a surely insurmountable margin judging by the sheer dominance County had enjoyed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There hadn't been so much as a wayward shot off target from Halifax though, while you could probably have counted the minutes of play in the hosts' half on one hand.

Which wouldn't have been so bad had they not played such a major role in their own downfall, again.

Johnson did well to tip Jim O'Brien's shot over the bar amid an equally strong start to the second-half by County, who were just as dominant, just as fluid, just as in control.

Town did register their first effort of the day after an hour when a corner was headed tamely wide.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But it was against the run of play. County weren't creating the chances they did in the first-half and weren't playing with quite the same tempo and intensity, but the momentum of the game hadn't shifted one bit.

Rob Harker was brought on, but in place of Dierseruvwe, doing nothing to change Town's approach and prompting chants of "we want Milly out" from the travelling Town fans.

County were almost gifted another goal when Jack Senior's sloppy pass went straight to Ruben Rodrigues, but Johnson saved his shot from ten yards.

It wasn't until the 90th minute that Milli Alli was brought on in place of a defender and Jesse Debrah was moved up-front, but it was too little, too late.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Notts County: Slocombe, Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson, Nemane, Palmer, O'Brien (Scott 71), Chicksen, Rodrigues, Austin (Jones 76), Langstaff. Subs not used: Bostock, Vincent, Bajrami.

Scorer: Langstaff (37)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 10

Halifax: Johnson, A Senior, Debrah, Stott, J Senior, Golden (Alli 90), Keane, Hunter, Gilmour, Cooke, Dierseruvwe (Harker 75). Subs not used: Arthur, Slew, White.

Shots on target: 0

Shots off target: 1

Corners: 2

Attendance: 7,548

Referee: Matthew Dicicco

Town man of the match: Jesse Debrah. A good defensive display, mopping up the danger well and producing some important blocks and clearances.