FC Halifax Town have collected a frustrating home point following a difficult afternoon against Vanarama National League North rivals Darlington.
New signing Adam Morgan was inspirational in the draw, scoring two goals and securing Town a point at the MBi Shay. The former Liverpool youngster received man of the match and has proved to be a serious coup for Billy Heath so far.
Morgan marked his home debut with a terrific opening goal when Town hit Darlington on the break and Morgan struck the ball with his left foot from over 20-yards out.
The striker joined Town from Curzon Ashton before Christmas and began his FC Halifax career with a brace at the day’s opponents Darlington on Boxing Day.
Morgan, 22, almost made it 1-0 less than a minute into the game when Danny Clarke played through winger Josh MacDonald. The youngster put a looping cross into the far post for Morgan who was unmarked, he lobbed the ‘keeper but had his header cleared off the line.
Following the Boxing Day defeat away at Darlington, the first half was an especially feisty encounter. Some handbags occurred by the dugout area when defender Gary Brown left one on young winger Josh MacDonald.
The centre half went full blooded through MacDonald and received a telling off from referee Paul Graham.
Darlington hit back on twenty-two minutes when forward Josh Gillies put his low effort past Sam Johnson.
The ‘keeper, making his second debut for FC Halifax, will have been frustrated after a lapse in concentration saw the Darlo attack outnumber his defence three against two.
Johnson, on loan from Port Vale, had a confident afternoon. He collected a number crosses with authority and made a spectacular save from close range in the first half.
His afternoon was almost cut short, though, when his first touch ended in him receiving treatment on the field. Nathan Hotte played the ball back to the ‘keeper, he took a confident touch and forward Gillies left his foot on the shot stopper.
In an end-to-end half, striker Tom Denton almost replied immediately to Gillies goal. Richard Peniket, playing on the left wing, squared a cross for the 6’7 striker, he stroked the ball under ‘keeper Jameson but Brown performed an outstanding goal-line clearance.
FC Halifax could have had an abundance of goals in the first half, and it was that man Morgan again, this time the supplier. The striker confidently slipped through MacDonald but he dragged his shot wide on fifteen-minutes.
Twenty minutes into the second half, Adam Morgan doubled his tally when the forward and second half substitute Matty Kosylo broke on the counter attack.
The ball was cleared from a Darlington corner, Morgan played Kosylo through, the winger then returned the ball and the striker hit it from all of twenty-five yards. Darlo ‘keeper Jameson will be disappointed with his attempt but Morgan’s shot found his right hand top corner nonetheless.
Just four minutes later, Darlington cancelled out FC Halifax’s 2-1 lead via a goal from captain Kevin Burgess.
The equaliser came from a set piece that the Town defence struggled to deal with. Burgess met it at the far post and left back Josh Wilde very nearly cleared it off the line.
The draw leaves FC Halifax Town ninth in the Vanarama National League North after twenty-one games this season.
The team will travel to Bower Fold to face relegation candidates Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday the 7th of January as they will look to end their poor run of form in recent weeks.
Visit fcht.co.uk throughout the week to catch all the build up for what is bound to be a huge fixture for manager Heath and his players.
FC Halifax Town:Sam Johnson, 2 Kevin Roberts, 3 Josh Wilde, 4 Danny Clarke, 5 Nathan Hotte, 6 Danny Hone 7, Josh MacDonald (Matt Kosylo 61), 8 David Lynch, 9 Tom Denton, 10 Adam Morgan, 11 Richard Peniket
Subs Not Used:12 Tom Nicholson, 14 Alex Simmons, 15 Liam King, 16 Cliff Moyo
Darlington:1 Peter Jameson, 2 Liam Marrs, 3 Terry Galbraith, 4 Phil Turnbull, 5 Kevin Burgess, 6 Gary Brown, 7 Leon Scott, 8 Stephen Thompson, 9 Mark Beck, 10 Nathan Cartman, 11 Josh Gillies (Josh Falkingham 81)
Subs Not Used:12 Chris Hunter, 13 Mark Bell, 14 Josh Falkingham, 15 Liam Hardy, 16 David Syers
Goals:Morgan 14, 64 Gillies 22 Burgess 70
Yellow Cards:Roberts 90, Thompson 90
Attendance:2511 (577 away)
Final score:FC Halifax Town 2 Darlington 2