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Match Report


Posted Thu 18 Jul 13 at 06:17 AM

Town Win 5-1......

FC Halifax Town moved up to sixth in the Skrill Premier with a 5-1 annihilation of ten-man Lincoln. Neil Aspin’s side eased past a fragile Lincoln outfit who played the vast majority of the game without captain Alan Power, who was sent-off for a reckless challenge on Matty Pearson. Dan Gardner’s resulting penalty opened the scoring, before goals from the returning Lee Gregory, former Imps star Adam Smith, Jon Worthington and Reece Gray cancelled out Ben Tomlinson’s equaliser. The Shaymen made two changes to the team that drew with Gateshead, with top scorer Lee Gregory and Paul Marshall replacing Joe Ironside and Archie Love. Halifax quickly found their rhythm, spraying the ball around the moist Shay surface with conviction and confidence. Smith fizzed a low shot across Paul Farman’s post in the seventh minute before Tomlinson couldn’t generate enough power on his header to trouble Matt Glennon. The major talking point of the spectacle came in the twelfth minute. With the Shaymen mounting heaps of pressure on the hosts, Imps midfielder Alan Power hacked down Pearson with two feet as he was destined to strike for goal, leaving referee Anthony Backhouse with little alternative other than to award the hosts a penalty and show Lincoln’s captain his marching orders. After a lengthy wait due to Lincoln’s protests, classy Gardner held his nerve, calmly sending Farman the wrong way for his seventh goal of the season. The visitors were rattled and were fortunate not to fall further behind when Pearson’s placed effort hit the inside of the post and crawled agonisingly across the face of goal. Smith was continuously causing havoc down the right flank and once again made space in the 21st minute to cross for Gregory who flashed his header wide of goal. The Shaymen were in cruise control, toying with their opponents as a second goal appeared inevitable, but Lincoln astonishingly equalised in the 26th minute. A harmless looking through ball appeared to be smothered by Matt Glennon, however the ball squirmed under the experienced stopper, gifting Tomlinson the easiest of goals. Thankfully, order was restored within 90 seconds. Gardner turned provider as Town initiated a blistering counter attack which culminated in Gardner exquisitely freeing Gregory who scored in equally impeccable fashion, dinking his shot over the onrushing Farman to reimburse Town’s lead. From that point onwards it was one way traffic, with the game portraying an training exercise of attack versus defence rather than a professional football match. The visitors saw the remains of the first-half out successfully, defending firmly on the edge of the area and restricting the Shaymen to a string of long range efforts. Lois Maynard was almost successful with a swerving 35 yard thunderbolt that Farman managed to stop going under his body, before Gardner’s low drive was pushed away expertly by Lincoln’s impressive keeper. The second-half was a different matter as the Shaymen began to playan intricate brand of football that would have embraced leagues far higher than the Skrill Premier. Gardner and Smith were at the heart of the excellence on display, linking up imperiously to free Gregory and Josh Wilson. Scott McManus was the first to feed of the pair, being released down the left only to see his strike hit the side netting. Town continued to press and should have killed the game off far earlier than they did. The woodwork was unquestionably in favour of the visitors as Smith was robbed of a goal against his former club when he jinxed past two men before his curling effort rattled the post and, like Pearson’s effort, trickled across the goal mouth. The exceptional Gardner had a moment to forget as Town dismantled Lincoln on the counter once more, but the midfielder inexplicably lost his bearings and let the ball harmlessly roll out of touch to the frustration of himself and the large Town following in the crowd. However, Smith wasn’t to be denied, and eventually got the goal his performance deserved, running from his own half and beating countless men to smash home a third and decisive goal eleven minutes from time. But the Shaymen weren’t finished, as misery was heaped on Lincoln with two wonderful strikes. Jon Worthington scored the fourth, firing a scorching effort into the top corner from 25 yards for a fourth before substitute Reece Gray completed a route with a wonderful curling effort four minutes from time.

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