FC Halifax Town remain in 20th in the Vanarama National League after slipping to a 2-0 home defeat to Aldershot Town at the Shay Stadium.
The Shaymen went into this afternoon’s game two points clear of the drop-zone, off the back of Tuesday’s dramatic last-gasp winner in a 3-2 victory over survival rivals Boreham Wood.
Barry Smith’s Shots made the trip to West Yorkshire in 15th spot, having come up just short in a thrilling 4-3 scoreline against Grimsby Town in midweek.
Town made an encouraging start to the match, imposing themselves as the home side as they dominated early possession, camped in the Aldershot half.
Jake Hibbs’ effort from distance travelled just wide, before Dan Thomas kept out Richard Peniket’s shot from Kingsley James’ knockdown.
James Bolton then rose to meet Scott McManus’ corner delivery, but his header flew just wide of the mark.
Ross Lafayette picked up the first booking of the match just short of the half-hour mark, after lunging in late on McManus.
Jordan Burrow and James both went close for the Shaymen before Aldershot grew into the game, beginning to find space in the Town half.
In a spell of their own, the visitors were thwarted as Giorgio Rasulo struck the side netting from close range, and McManus defended excellently to divert Rhys Browne’s low cross over the bar.
Charlie Walker’s ball from the right then found Lafayette, but the Eastleigh loanee’s sliding attempt was deflected behind as the teams went in goalless at the interval.
Just as Town attempted to get going for the second half, it took merely two minutes for the opener to arrive, as the Shots flew out of the traps to take the lead. Rhys Browne’s whipped cross from the left-hand side met the run of Jim Stevenson, who nodded past Sam Johnson, taking a blow to the head in the process.
The away side continued to look threatening, and Johnson was forced into an excellent full-length save to deny Walker from a 25-yard curling free kick.
Browne then had an attempt of his own denied by the goalkeeper, after Lafayette broke forward into the Halifax area.
Referee Richard Wigglesworth then chalked off a potential route back into the game for the Shaymen, as it was alleged Shots goalkeeper Dan Thomas was fouled before Kingsley James struck the ball in off the post.
Browne had looked a real livewire for the visitors all afternoon and the wide midfielder put the game beyond doubt with six minutes remaining. Substitute Nathan Ralph’s dash towards goal was stopped by a remarkable tackle from McManus, before the ball fell to Browne who drove it beyond Johnson into the bottom corner.
The Shots fans were jubilant, but it became an increasingly frustrating day for the majority at the Shay.
The introduction of Shaq McDonald spurred Town on but Aldershot continued to contain and frustrate with the substitute meeting Kevin Roberts’ long ball, but being denied by Thomas.
Connor Hughes also found his shot kept out by Thomas late on as the Shots held on.
Injuries late on to both Alfie Pavey and skipper Sean McGinty for Aldershot resulted in seven minutes of added time in the second half, but the Shaymen could not quite manage to break down the red wall.
Jim Harvey’s Shaymen now have two away fixtures to contend with as they bid to consolidate their place in the National League next campaign, starting with a trip to bottom club Kidderminster on Tuesday night. Results elsewhere keep Town above the surface in 20th as the FA Trophy finalists prepare for their trip to the Midlands.
Shaymen: Johnson, Roberts, McManus, Bencherif, Bolton, Wroe (Hughes 61), James, Hibbs, Peniket (Fairhurst 61), MacDonald (McDonald 80), Burrow
Unused subs: Porter, Fazlic
Aldershot: Thomas, McGinty (Hatton 88), Stevenson, Walker, Alexander, Beckles, Browne, Gallagher, Barker, Lafayette (Pavey 85), Rasulo (Ralph 52)
Unused subs: Smith, McGrory
Bookings: Lafayette (28)
Referee: Richard Wigglesworth
Assistants: Natalie Aspinall, Justin Hayes
Fourth Official: David Fisher
Attendance: 1,714 (away fans: 226)
Man of the Match: Scott McManus