A superb second half strike by Jack Emmett gave Harrogate Town victory in a bruising encounter at a sun drenched Shay Stadium.
An explosive opening two minutes saw Richard Peniket hook wide for Halifax, while at the other end Emmett dispossessed Josh Wilde and produced a centre with which Joe Leesley just failed to connect.
The game settled into a midfield battle with neither side able to create a clear cut chance.
A Leesley free kick enabled Jon Paul Pittman to win a corner, which led to a period of Town pressure.
Halifax hit back with a floated free kick from Jordan Sinnott which Tom Denton headed straight at Peter Crook.
Town skipper, Simon Ainge, found himself in the ref’s book after a clash with Daniel Hone, but Sinnott hit the resulting free kick well over the visitor’s crossbar.
Then a Scott Garner foul on Lloyd Kerry gave Town a chance to break the deadlock,but Leesley’s free kick was easily dealt with by Steve Drench.
Harrogate began the second half in the ascendancy with Halifax having to concede a number of free kicks to stem the tide. The Shaymen’s aerial threat, in the person of the towering Tom Denton, was nullified by Luke Shiels and Ainge and the home attack was making no impression on a Town defence,in which Joe Colbeck and Tom Platt were outstanding.
The decisive moment in the match arrived on sixtyseven minutes,when newly arrived sub,Jordan Robertson,found Emmett with a cross field pass and he advanced into the area to lash in an unstoppable drive past Drench which hit the underside of the bar on its way into the net.
Halifax had late chances with the unmarked Denton sidefooting a Josh MacDonald corner wide of the post and MacDonald himself shooting into the safe arms of Crook.
Unfortunately,the match ended on a sad note for Harrogate when Lloyd Kerry sustained a severe facial injury in a collision,which required hospitalisation.We all wish him a speedy recovery.
FC Halifax Town 0 – 1 Harrogate Town
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck, 3 Turner, 4 Burrell (Thanoj 39), 5 Ainge (c), 6 Shiels, 7 Kerry (Chilaka 90), 8 Leesley, 9 Pittman (Robertson 66), 10 Platt, 11 Emmett.
Unused subs, 16 Ellis, 17 Stewart.
Scorer, Emmett 67 Att.1965
Report by John Harrison