National League: Halifax in stalemate, defeat for Harrogate Town

FC Halifax Town were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw at The Shay by bottom-club Braintree.

National League
National League

Basement-dwellers Braintree seemed the ideal opponents for Town to round off a positive week in which Scott Quigley joined on loan and Jacob Hanson joined permanently.

Quigley came straight into the side for his debut after joining on loan from Blackpool this week, replacing Ben Tomlinson.

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But Town didn’t build on the pre-match enthusiasm, producing a frustrating display peppered with too many below-par individual performances.

A one-two between Quigley and Matty Kosylo opened up some space for the loanee, but his shot from a tight angle was straight at Braintree keeper Ben Killip.

Braintree were far better than their lowly status suggested they would be, and hadn’t just come to The Shay to shut up shop.

Courtney Richards and Justin Amaluzor saw the best of the away side’s numerous efforts from range go fairly close, while the returning Joe Skarz, making his first appearance in almost a month, nearly turned Ricky Gabriel’s cross into his own net.

Dayle Southwell had a shot deflected just over from the edge of the box moments after the break from Kosylo’s lay-off.

Justin Amaluzor’s excellent strike from range nicked the woodwork on it’s way wide as Braintree threatened to take all three points.

Town’s day was summed-up when Ferry’s pass found its way through to Quigley 10 yards out, but the striker failed to control it and the ball rolled away for a goal kick.

Elsewhere, Harry Beautyman starred with an assist and the match-winning goal as Sutton claimed a 2-1 victory over Harrogate, who have now earned one point from their past five matches.

Harrogate keeper James Belshaw was called upon to save well from Tom Bolarinwa’s shot from distance in the eighth minute.

But there was nothing Belshaw could have done to stop Sutton taking the lead in the 19th minute. Beautyman’s accurate free-kick was headed past Belshaw by Jonah Ayunga for his fourth league goal of the season.

Harrogate were back on level terms on the hour mark when George Thomson cut inside onto his left foot and dispatched the ball into the top corner.

However, eight minutes from time, Beautyman popped up to score the winner, poking home from close range to ensure Sutton climb above Harrogate into sixth place in the table.