Halifax inflict another defeat on Town

Harrogate Town's Jack Emmett slides into a challenge during Easter Monday's defeat to Halifax. Picture: Town Pix
Harrogate Town's Jack Emmett slides into a challenge during Easter Monday's defeat to Halifax. Picture: Town Pix

Harrogate Town’s poor run of recent form continued when they suffered a 3-0 home reverse to Yorkshire rivals Halifax Town, on Easter Monday.

The Shaymen raced into a 10th-minute lead through Dion Charles’ low finish on the counter-attack, before Matty Kosylo’s near-post strike doubled the advantage before the interval.

JP Pittman had struck the woodwork for Town in the first 45, and Marcus Day did the same in the second, though Halifax sealed all three points with a third goal 12 minutes from time.

It was Kosylo on target again, claiming his second of the afternoon to condemn Simon Weaver’s side to a fourth loss in their last five outings.

The Sulphurites boss made three changes from the side that started at Nuneaton 48 hours earlier, as Peter Crook, Jack Emmett and Tom Platt were all recalled.

The contest sprung into life after 10 minutes when Joe Colbeck’s dangerous cross past the face of goal was pulled back by Pittman, though no one could add a finishing touch.

Moments later, Halifax broke at pace and Charles was picked out in space on the edge of the area where the visiting midfielder curled a shot into the bottom right corner of Crook’s net.

Pittman thought he had levelled the scores 10 minutes later, but his looping header from Joe Leesley’s free-kick bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Halifax added a second goal moments before the half-hour mark as the lively Kosylo drifted in from the left wing and fired home at the near post.

The winger almost claimed a quick-fire double after being left unmarked at the far post, but volleyed inches too high soon afterwards.

Charles should have made it three at the end of a forgettable half for Weaver’s men, but the Halifax man couldn’t turn Peniket’s pull-back towards goal.

The second period started evenly as both Peniket and Pittman had shots on goal, though Peniket’s attempt was saved while Pittman’s flick cleared the bar.

Crook then showed good reactions to keep the score at two; tipping Jordan Sinnott’s free-kick over the top, before Luke Shiels had Town’s best chance of the afternoon, but headed Leesley’s free-kick into the arms of gloveman Sam Johnson.

Leesley thought he had handed the hosts a lifeline with 20 minutes to go after cutting inside on his left foot and shooting towards the top corner, only for Nathan Hotte to block bravely with his head.

Second-half substitute Marcus Day then came closer still to reducing the deficit as he attempted to place a finish into the bottom left-hand corner, but the ball struck an upright and bounced clear.

Halifax sealed the win with 12 minutes remaining when Charles sprung the offside trap and squared for Kosylo to claim his second of the contest with an easy finish.

The men from the CNG Stadium remain in 11th place following the defeat.