The Bees fell to a narrow defeat at The Shay Stadium – losing 1-0 to FC Halifax Town in the Vanarama National League.

Halifax enjoyed the opening spell of possession which saw Kian Spence strike at goal from the edge of the box, only to have it deflected into Aston Oxborough’s hands.

The Bees had an opportunity to break the deadlock in the 17th minute when Wes Fonguck swung a free kick into the centre of the box.

The ball popped out to Rob Hall on the edge whose low strike had to be blocked by a Halifax defender.

Ephron Mason-Clark had a clear chance to put his side ahead in the 38th minute after he got away from his defender in the final third and rolled his shot into Sam Johnson’s gloves.

Pete Wild’s side took the lead two minutes later as a Halifax corner was met by Oxborough who palmed it only as far as Niall Maher inside the box, who tapped home into the bottom corner.

The hosts were quick from the restart and almost doubled their advantage through two chances in quick succession.

Billy Waters’ initial drive towards the corner was defended by Harry Taylor before Allen flashed the rebound narrowly wide of the far post.

Dean Brennan’s side responded instantly with a chance of their own as Reece Grego-Cox found Daniel Powell in the box whose shot from a tight angle was blocked off the line.

The Shaymen started the second half quickly and won a corner that was sent in by Luke Summerfield and headed wide of the post by Tom Bradbury.

Billy Waters nearly added to his 13-goal tally this season after he was fed the ball in the Bees’ half and turned away from Harry Taylor before slamming his shot wide of the post.

The Bees had opportunities to level the score in the 70th and 72nd minute as Rob Hall’s fierce strike was deflected over before Ross Marshall volleyed at goal from a similar position, to force Johnson to tip the ball around the post.

Grego-Cox was denied with less than 10 minutes to go as Mason-Clark got the better of Tom Bradbury near the byline before he pulled it back to the frontman – who had his shot towards the near post blocked.

Dean Brennan’s side threw players forward in the five additional minutes in search of a late goal, but it was to no avail as the Shaymen picked up all three points.

Halifax: Sam Johnson, Tyrell Warren, Tom Bradbury, Niall Maher (C), Jesse Debrah, Luke Summerfield, Martin Woods, Kian Spence, Billy Waters (Gerry McDonagh 78’), Aaron Martin (Jordan Slew 63’), Jamie Allen (Jamie Thomas 86’). Subs (not used): Mark Warburton, Harvey Gilmour.

Goals: Maher (41’).

Bees: Aston Oxborough, Teddy Howe, Rob Hall (Ryan De Havilland 76’), Ross Marshall, Daniel Powell (Louis Walsh 82’), Ephron Mason-Clark, Reiss Greenidge, Wes Fonguck (Adam Marriott 65’), Harry Taylor ©, Sam Beard, Reece Grego-Cox. Subs (not used): Jake Askew, Sam Woods.

Referee: Garreth Rhodes.

Attendance: 1,799 (77 away).

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