FC Halifax Town suffered FA Cup heartbreak as Lincoln City ran out 2-0 winners at The Shay on Tuesday night.
Goals in either half from Jake Sheridan and Jamie Taylor was enough to earn the Imps a home tie against Walsall in the first round proper of the competition.
The result means that Town will not be experiencing any more FA cup magic this season, a totally different contrast in emotion compared to last season’s joy at playing Charlton Athletic.
Considering the amount of possession and chances that Halifax had over the two games, the Shaymen will find it hard to take than they never found the back of the net.
Neil Aspin persisted with the same starting line-up that earnt the replay at Sincil Bank on Saturday. However, there was an unexpected place on the bench for midfielder Dan Gardner and a return to the bench for defender Conor Qualter who had been ill at the weekend.
The Shaymen had the first sight of goal on six minutes when Gareth Seddon found Jon Worthington in a pocket of space in front of the Lincoln defence. The ball was played out to Ryan Toulson who crossed for Lee Gregory, but the strikers’ near post header flew over the bar.
The next attack resulted in a goal for the visitors.
Adam Smith was played in down the right channel by Gary Mills. Smith whipped in an early cross with pace which was swept home by the on-rushing Jake Sheridan to give City the lead.
Town had failed to settle in the opening exchanges with Smith was proving a real handful for Scott McManus with his trickery. The menacing Smith earnt him the disproval of the home supporters after going down on the edge box, the referee waved away his claims for a free-kick but decided the winger did not deserve a booking for simulation either.
One bright spark for the Shaymen was the energetic Seddon who was defending from the front and full of non-stop running. That was until he pulled up in a race with City defender Andrew Boyce with what looked like a knee problem, Seddon did return to the field of play but looked uncomfortable.
Lee Gregory who had been menacing in the first encounter was finding it difficult to get into the game and had clearly had his cards marked by David Holdsworth’s team.
It was a frustrating opening for Aspin’s side who had been forced to go long on a number of occasions as City flooded men back quickly on a regular basis.
The only glimpse of an equaliser before half-time came when a McManus cross from the left was played between the goalkeeper and the six-yard box but nobody had gambled on the early delivery.
City showed their intent to double their lead early in the second half when they won a corner in the opening minute of the restart. Boyce attacked the ball but his powerful header went just wide.
The lively Seddon then nearly found that all important equaliser.
Chris Worsley struck the ball towards goal from 20 yards which hit the shins of Worthington. Fortunately for Town, his miss-control led to Seddon being able to fire a snap-shot at goal which City goalkeeper Paul Farman was equal to and palmed away to safety.
Smith, who had been a thorn in Town’s side in the first half was then replaced by Colin Larkin on 55 minutes.
The Shaymen began to increase the pressure on the City backline with a series of corners and counter-attacks but City were also looking to play on the break.
With just over 20 minutes to go, Aspin rolled the dice and replaced McManus with Jason St Juste.
Goal-scorer Sheridan then got the best out of goalkeeper Matt Glennon.
Sheridan travelled deep into the Town half, skipping past Worsley and Worthington in the process before unleashing a curling effort which was saved by the finger-tips of the Halifax number one.
That was a warning sign, as seconds later, the ball was in the Town net and City had doubled their lead and all but sealed their passage into the next round.
Danny Lowe’s back pass didn’t have enough pace on it to reach Glennon. Mo Fafana reacted quickest and squared the ball to Jamie Taylor who kept his composure and placed the ball home low with his left foot.
Before Halifax had time to re-group, it was almost three. Colin Larkin escaped the challenges of the home rear-guard down the left and hit an early shot which hit the outside of the post.
Paul Marshall produced a save from Farman with five minutes remaining after cutting inside and shooting with his right-foot as the home team went searching for a lifeline to get back into the game.
Unfortunately, Aspin’s team could not muster up a consolation goal and exited the cup.