FC Halifax Town made a big statement for their promotion credentials, as they defeated play off rivals Kidderminster Harriers 2-0, on a bracing afternoon at the MBi Shay Stadium.
The important opening goal came courtesy of first half substitute Matty Kosylo, who had won his side a penalty just moments earlier, only to see Sam Hornby save it well to his left.
The winger was declared fully fit by Billy Heath following Tuesday night’s West Riding County Cup victory over Ossett Albion, and came off the bench to brilliant effect after Josh MacDonald went off with a slight knock.
Town’s task was made easier straight after this when Tyrone Williams was sent off for the visitors for a second bookable offence, as the Shaymen took control of the match in five manic second half minutes.
As the second half went on, Harriers started taking more risks as they pushed for a leveller, but paid the price for this late on, when another substitute, Richard Peniket, secured the win in injury time.
The first half will not live long in the memory of most, as both sides found clear cut chances hard to come by.
Jordan Sinnott was bright early on, having his shot saved well in the sixth minute, and then pulled of a piece of exquisite skill when he flicked the ball around Carter.
Both sides looked more dangerous down the left, left backs Josh Wilde and Carter overlapping well and getting multiple crosses into the box.
The referee had several decisions to make as the game got physical in the 26th minute, Mani Diesuervwe getting off lightly following a crunching tackle on David Lynch.
The aforementioned Lynch then came close the opening the score with a long range effort that was tipped wide by Harriers’ number one.
What turned out to be the most important moment of the half occurred in the 40th minute, when Josh MacDonald was replaced, due to injury, by eventual Man of the Match, Matty Kosylo.
The game was settled in the first ten minutes following the restart of play for the second half.
In the 49th minute, Kosylo collected a pass and ran into the area, nutmegged a Kidderminster defender, and then went down after a poorly timed tackle from behind.
The referee pointed to the spot but chose not to book the player, Liam King took the spot kick, but his powerful striker to the keepers left was parried away.
Town’s disappointment was short lived however, as the ball was put back in, Kosylo shimmied his man and let loose with a powerful strike into the bottom left corner.
Things got worse for Harriers, as shortly after this, Tyrone Williams received his marching orders.
The right back fouled Josh Wilde in his own half, much to the frustration of the Kiddie dugout.
Jake Hibbs was introduced in the 68th minute, replacing Jordan Sinnott, and this shored up the Shaymen, limiting their opponents’ opportunities.
As the clock ticked on Town looked comfortable, and the win as made even sweeter in injury time, when Hibbs played in Richard Peniket, who slotted the ball home, low across the goal.
The win moves Town up to fourth, with games in hand over third place Chorley.
FC Halifax Town: 1 Steven Drench, 2 Kevin Roberts, 3 Josh Wilde, 4, Liam King ©, 5 Nathan Hotte, 6 Scott Garner, 7 Josh MacDonald (Matty Kosylo '38), 8 David Lynch, 9 Tom Denton (Richard Peniket '83), 10 Jordan Sinnott (Jake Hibbs '68), 11 Alex Simmons
Subs not used:12 Tom Nicholson, 15 Cliff Moyo
Kidderminster Harriers: 1 Sam Hornby, 2 Tyrone Williams, 3 4 Ryan Croasdale, 5 Keith Lowe ©, 6 Jordan Tunnicliffe, 7 Tyrell Waite (Liam Truslove '72), 8 James McQuilkin (Sam Austin '83), 9 Manu Diesuervwe (Andre Brown '61), 10 Elton Ngwatala, 11 Arthur Gnahoua
Subs not used: 18 Tom Palmer
Goals: Matty Kosylo, Richard Peniket
Yellow Cards:Nathan Hotte, Jordan Sinnott, Scott Garner, Mani Diesuervwe
Red Cards: Tyrone Williams
Attendance: 1,704 (122 Kidderminster)
Man of the match:Matty Kosylo