Eastleigh 2 FC Halifax Town 1: Shaymen show they can rise from bottom

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Darren Kelly praised his players’ efforts despite FC Halifax Town falling to the foot of the table with defeat at Eastleigh.

Halifax outplayed their hosts in the first half and led through Kingsley James’s fourth goal in eight games.

Andy Drury and Josh Payne scored after the interval to consign Halifax to the bottom of the National League but Kelly was impressed by his team’s battling display despite the result.

“I thought our players were tremendous. To play 120 minutes on Tuesday night, give it their all, come down down here and give it their all – there’s nothing more you can ask for.

“They worked hard for each other, it’s just a disappointing result and I don’t think we deserved that.

“We went in ahead at half-time and it was a couple of poor goals that we conceded.

“But, in terms of effort and commitment from the players, I thought they were first-class.”

After Sam Walker pinched the ball after another wayward Eastleigh pass, Halifax broke forward and the midfielder eventually fired in a shot that was too hot to handle for Ross Flitney before James lashed in the rebound from 10 yards.

But the visitors were their own worst enemy at the start of the second-half when Tommy Miller gave the ball away with a poor back-pass before Matty Fanimo’s cross was tucked away by Drury.

James Constable and Fanimo both had shots saved before Yemi Odubade’s cross was headed in at the far post by Payne to cap a rapid counter-attack from the hosts.

Eastleigh: Flitney, Partington, Evans, Turley, Harding, Fanimo (Midson 65), Payne, Drury, Strevens, Lafayette (Constable 56), Odubade (Green 90). Unused substitutes: Noice, Reid.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, McManus, James, Burrow, Walker, O’Brien, Miller (Tuton 67), N Brown, Wroe, Sadlier (Bencherif 87). Unused substitutes: Porter, M Brown, Macdonald.

Referee: A Hopkins (Plymouth).

Man of the match: Kingsley James.