Ten-man Halifax rescue a point at home to Southend after controversial red card

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Adam Senior's equaliser rescued a point for ten-man FC Halifax Town against Southend United in-front of a bumper Shay crowd.

Wes Fonguck put Southend in-front before Luke Summerfield was controversially sent-off, but The Shaymen fought back to salvage a draw, despite a well-below-par display.

One-nil up against ten-men, Southend really should have seen the game out, but they didn't reckon on this young Halifax side.

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They were far from perfect, their performance littered with errors and sloppiness, but what they lacked in quality they made up for in heart and spirit when the chips were down.

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Chris Millington wanted his side to impose themselves on the game but there were few signs of that as Southend quickly established greater control.

They did little with it though in a soporific contest.

The pattern of Southend passing it around at the back and The Shaymen sitting off them, organised but at arm's length, soon set in.

By the time the drinks break arrived in the 24th minute, due to the high temperatures, it was Halifax who needed it more.

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There were echoes of the Gateshead game, with Town looking more like the away side.

The first effort on target wasn't until the 39th minute when Gus Scott-Morriss' looping header was pushed over by Sam Johnson.

It was enough to send the Southend fans, who'd set off a stupid o'clock this morning, back to sleep.

The Shaymen were solid off the ball, Jo Cummings and Adam Senior in particular defending well, and difficult to break down.

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But as an attacking force, they were insipid, wilting in the lunchtime sunshine as soon as they stepped over the halfway line.

Milli Alli squandered the chance of a counter-attack, Rob Harker beat a man in the box only for Colin Andeng-Ndi to reach the ball first - pretty much all he did in the opening 45 - and Ryan Galvin overhit a left wing-cross after Harker played him in.

There was no bite or bit-between-their-teeth attitude about Town, especially compared to last Saturday at Rochdale.

Even last week's star man Luke Summerfield isn’t immune to The Shaymen's laxity, losing the ball sloppily in his own half but at least working hard to correct the error.

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Jamie Stott then lost out to Harry Cardwell dangerously close to an under-populated Town box, presenting the visitors with the best chance of the half by far, but Callum Powell's shot from ten yards was saved by Sam Johnson.

The biggest plus for Town at the break was they hadn't fallen behind.

The half-time schools game prompted far more excitement among the fans than the preceding 45 minutes had, as if the supporters were lapping up every goal in the expectation they could be the only ones they'd see.

Fonguck ensured that wasn't the case after there'd been no discernible in Town's offering after the restart.

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Southend pressed Halifax in around their own box after a corner, and eventually worked the ball to Fonguck on the left, who placed a low shot across goal into the far corner.

It was to be hoped that was the wake-up call Halifax needed.

Summerfield lost the ball again in midfield, eventually requiring Cummings to make a goal-saving tackle a few yards out.

From the resulting corner, Summerfield was then sent-off for a seemingly bizarre off-the-ball incident involving the referee.

Paul Marsden strikes again.

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Southend were already playing like they had an extra man, now they did.

Jack Hunter, who'd earlier been very harshly booked, had Halifax's first effort of the game in the 64th minute with a wayward overhead kick, but Southend had the hosts right where they wanted them, and there looked little prospect of that changing.

But out of nothing, Alli produced a trademark shoulder drop and shot, which was turned behind by Andeng-Ndi, and from the resulting corner, Senior met Jamie Stott's drilled cross at the far post to brings Town level.

Southend's top-scorer Cardwell missed a good chance to immediately put them back in-front when he fired Powell's cross over on the stretch a few yards out.

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There followed a nerve-jangling final 15 minutes, 22 with added time, but Town ran and chased and ran some more, and saw it out before Marsden was booed off after the final whistle.

Halifax: Johnson, Senior, Cummings, Stott, Golden (Cosgrave 73), Summerfield, Hunter, Galvin, Alli, Oluwabori (Evans 58), Harker (Chikukwa 90). Subs not used: Keane, Wilson.

Scorer: Senior (74)

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 1

Corners: 2

Southend: Andeng Ndi, Scott-Morriss, Taylor, Kensdale, Ralph (Demetriou 70), Bridge, Husin, Miley, Fonguck (Mooney 76), Powell (Wood 84), Cardwell. Subs not used: Coker.

Scorer: Fonguck (51)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 11

Corners: 11

Attendance: 2,103

Referee: Paul Marsden

Town man of the match: Jo Cummings. Was superb at the back, really growing into his role at the heart of the back three.