Halifax pulled off a surprise 2-0 victory over Wrexham at Shay Stadium today, with calamitous defending costing the North Wales club dearly, who suffered their second defeat in just two days.
Goals from Shaun Tuton and ex-Chester midfielder Kingsley James secured all three points for the Shaymen, who are now unbeaten in their last six and on the brink of moving out of the relegation zone.
It was the visitors who looked liveliest in the opening stages however, dominating possession and bringing the first chance of the match. As Sean Newton’s trademark pinpoint cross from the left wing somehow missed every waiting player, with Wes York closest to getting the decisive touch.
Further chances ensued including a mishit shot from Dom Vose, which almost found the net, and a header from Blaine Hudson going just wide, as the scores somehow remained all square.
Wrexham’s hard work was undone in the 15th minute though with some calamity defending which allowed the home side to take the lead, completely against the run of play. After Newton’s clearance was sliced backwards towards his own goal, Hudson decided to again try clearing instead of the simple back pass to Taylor, as the ball then ricocheted off Tuton and found the bottom corner of the net.
Tuton could have doubled his tally in the 31st minute, as the forward was played in one-on-one, but some great last ditch defending from Jamal Fyfield denied him his second of the match.
Shortly after and Halifax doubled their lead in the 37th minute. Tuton again causing Hudson all sort of problems, playing in Jordan Burrow who rattled the crossbar with his first time shot, only for the ball to fall nicely in front of Kingsley James, who took the ball down and fire past Taylor. The former Chester man running off to taunt the travelling fans in celebration!
On the stroke of half time, Wrexham will have felt harshly done by as York was denied what looked like a good call for a penalty. The pacey winger getting the better of McManus and seemingly being brought down from behind, but referee Joseph Johnson looked to his assistant and then waved away the appeals.
The Dragons came out unchanged for the second period and were unlucky not to grab one back just three minutes in. Newton’s free kick was driven into the box from 35 yards out, but again was unlucky to not find anyone on the end of it, as it went straight out for a goal kick, certain goal if a touch could be applied.
With very few clear cut chances for either side in the second half, it was Halifax who nearly wrapped up the three points in the 71st minute, despite more dominance from Wrexham, as substitute Connor Hughes’s fierce shot cannoned off the crossbar with Taylor beaten all ends up.
Wrexham’s day went from bad to worse in stoppage time, when Jamal Fyfield was given a straight red for his tackle on Hughes, as the pair raced for the ball towards a corner flag, capping off a disappointing performance.
The visitors never really looked like troubling the Halifax keeper Sam Johnson after going 2-0 down, as the game finished that way, with Wrexham’s play-off hopes suffering yet another blow.
Our next game is away to Southport this Saturday (2 January), which will prove another key test for Gary Mill’s men and their promotion credentials.
FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Bolton, Brown, Bencherif, Roberts, McManus, Wroe (Hibbs 88), James, Tuton, Walker (Hughes 69), Burrow (MacDonald 69).
Subs: Porter, Clappison.
Wrexham: Taylor, M Smith, Fyfield, Hudson (White 67), Newton, Moke (Cofie 61), Vose (Jackson 61), Gray, Jennings, York.
Subs: Carrington, Nolan.
Referee: Joseph Johnson (Merseyside)
Sending Off -
Wrexham: Fyfield (90+2, serious foul play)
FC Halifax Town: Wroe (85, foul)
Wrexham: York (45, foul), Hudson (55, foul), Evans (57, foul), Jennings (83, foul)