FC Halifax Town recorded their third win on the bounce after an inspirational second half performance at the MBi Shay Stadium. The result puts Town back into the Vanarama National League North play-off spaces in 5th after 25 games.
Manager Billy Heath turned things around after a sour first half showing when Town entered the second period two goals down.
A game where it’s difficult to avoid a football cliché to summarise the affair, the clash was a prime case of ‘a game of two halves’.
Salford City looked to be the well-oiled dominant outfit that saw them in 3rd place prior to the game during the first, whereas Town really pushed on and bullied them out of a result throughout the second.
The gaffer made two changes to the side that beat Tamworth 6-2 away from home last weekend. Goalkeeper Sam Johnson made his return to the starting eleven, as well as forward Daniel Nti, who joined from York City on a month’s loan deal this week.
Nti was inspirational throughout, the forward enjoyed a bullish performance on the left hand side as he was involved in two of Town’s four goals in the second half, scoring one of his own.
Town didn’t get off to the start they would have hoped after their dominant display at Tamworth. Despite having their fair share of possession, Salford City won a penalty on five minutes after a foul from Josh Wilde on danger-man Mike Phenix.
Midfielder and former Halifax player Sam Walker stepped up confidently and slid his spot kick beyond Johnson.
Town had the chance of the half shortly after when some slow build up play between Wilde and Richard Peniket resulted in a dangerous in-swinging cross to Adam Morgan.
The striker probably had more time than he could imagine inside the six-yard box and fluffed his lines, heading well over the bar with a glancing header.
Down the other end, the away side doubled their lead when they forced another goal-line scramble on the Town defence.
Salford’s deft set-piece routines were a reoccurring theme throughout the day as they placed what was basically their whole team on Town goalkeeper Johnson.
This time proving successful. A game of pin ball ensued, James Poole kept the ball alive and in-form striker Phenix smashed it past the hapless Johnson.
The second half started in subdued fashion with neither side stamping their authority on the game.
Forward Morgan had more than one long range effort blocked but it was on fifty-one minutes when the striker had Town fans on the edge of their seat.
He hit a shot from all of thirty-yards and for what felt like an eternity the ball sailed narrowly wide of the left hand top corner. Nearly.
The home side then saw the fruits of their labour when debutant Nti was rewarded for his industrious first half performance.
Town got their own back from the set-piece when Kevin Roberts crossed for the striker who signed on loan from York City just a day prior to the game.
Nti cushioned his header back across goal to the front post beating Jay Lynch at the South Stand end.
A second wind followed. The front three of Nti, Morgan and Peniket provided real dominance deep in the Salford half, and when Wilde was found on the left, the game was turned on its head.
The full-back whipped a tremendous cross into the danger area with power meeting half-time substitute Liam King. The club captain met the cross and powered the ball past Lynch.
Whatever gaffer Heath had to say to his side at half-time proved to be inspirational. Town withheld serious pressure throughout the second half as 2,157 fans rung throughout the MBi Shay.
Seventy-minutes saw Kosylo, who has enjoyed a great spell of form recently, pushed over inside the area. Referee David Underwood pointed to the spot and Kosylo confidently converted.
Just four minutes later it was Morgan’s turn. Nti forced his way onto Lynch’s goal, his shot was saved and Kosylo kept the attack alive by crossing dangerously into the box.
Morgan met the high ball that was whipped in from the right and glanced the ball home from twelve-yards.
Next up for Halifax is a home clash with Stockport County on Saturday 28th of January. Check out www.fcht.co.uk and Shaymen Player HD throughout the week for all the build-up from Billy and his men.
FC Halifax Town :1 Sam Johnson (GK); 2 Kevin Roberts (C); 3 Josh Wilde; 4 Danny Clarke (King 46'); 5 Nathan Hotte; 6 Scott Garner; 7 Matty Kosylo; 8 David Lynch; 9 Daniel Nti; 10 Adam Morgan (Cliff Moyo 88') 11 Richard Peniket. (Tom Denton)
Subs Not Used :12 Steven Drench; 17 Josh MacDonald
Salford City: 1 Jay Lynch (GK); 2 Michael Nottingham: 3 Patrick Brough; 4 Brad Barnes; 5 Simon Grand (C); 6 Billy Priestley; 7 Josh Hine; 8 Sam Walker; 9 Mike Phenix (Hulme 56'); 10 James Poole; 11 Richie Allen (King 46')
Subs Not Used: 12 Steve Howson; 14 Stephen O'Halloran; 16 John Johnstone;
Goals: Walker 6', Phenix 24', Nti 55', King 57' Kosylo 69' Morgan
Yellow Cards: Peniket 31', Phenix 36', Allen 45+3' Grand 90+3'
Red Cards: None
Final score: FC Halifax Town 4 Salford City 2
Man of the match: Matty Kosylo