A brace from the exquisite Dan Gardner
along with goals from Marcus Carver and Adam Smith saw the Shaymen romp to victory over a Grimsby outfit that had no answer to Town’s ruthless attack.
Neil Aspin’s side were at their imperious best, crucifying the Mariners fragile defence at ease, with Gardner and Smith especially torturing their opponents.
The Shaymen made one change to the side that agonisingly lost to Forest Green, with Paul Marshall
replacing the suspended Lois Maynard, with Lee Gregory
moving to the bench.
Town started brightly from the off, with Gardner and Marc Roberts both having efforts to no avail, before Scott McManus
’ header forced keeper James McKeown into a smart save from Smith’s cross, before the makeshift left-midfielder flashed a half volley across the goal.
Halifax’s midfield was proving to be vastly superior than that of their counterparts, with the Mariners midfield totally anonymous throughout. Matty Pearson was shown far too much space to drive forward with the ball from deep and was the next to try his luck after shrugging Andi Thanoj off with ease, only to see his shot blocked by Clayton McDonald.
The visitors enjoyed their best spell of the game on the ten minute mark, keeping the ball neatly and steadying Town’s fast start to the game.
But the Shaymen were the ones continuing to carve out the chances and took the lead in the 18th minute. A mazy Smith run bamboozled the Mariners defence, and his dinked cross landed straight on the head of Marcus Carver, who slotted past the keeper to score his first for the Club.
It was the perfect tonic for the Town faithful, who soon found their singing voices as they protested the proposed sale of The Shay.
As the traditional Tuesday night bitterness lingered around The Shay, Neil Aspin’s side started to produce a blistering brand of football that warmed up the Town faithful in attendance as Gardner stepped to the fore.
Picking up the ball 30 yards out, the midfielder glided his way past three defenders with pure ease before showing an incredible amount of skill to nutmeg a fourth and consequently smashing a low shot into the corner from 25 yards out, sending The Shay into pandemonium.
Many of the 1602 in attendance could barely believe what they were seeing, but things only got better.
The Shaymen put the game to bed in just the 32nd minute. Smith charged into Grimsby’s half unopposed before picking out the unmarked Gardner with a precise pass who scored at the second attempt after McKeown saved his initial strike.
With the Mariners faithful enraged, Paul Hurst was forced to take off Scott Neilson and Andi Thanoj in just the 32nd minute, replacing them with Richie Jones and former Shayman Ross Hannah.
The substitutions sparked a mini reaction from the Mariners, with Clayton McDoanld coming nearest to giving Grimsby a lifeline.
Yet it was the Shaymen who came closest to another before the break, and if it wasn’t for Gardner’s poor touch when storming towards goal, things could have got worse for Paul Hurst’s side.
Half-time provided rest bite for the visitors, but McKeown was soon picking a fourth goal out of the net when Town broke forward with blistering pace, with Carver finding Smith in acres of space who finished exquisitely from inside the box just two minutes after the restart.
If there was any negative from the evening, it was that Smith picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he will miss Saturday’s visit of Hereford. Chances continued to flow for Neil Aspin’s side, with Gardner almost capping a thoroughly magnificent display with a goal to match, only to see his ferocious strike smash the post.
The game entered somewhat of a lull thereafter, with the removal of both Gardner and Smith a peace cry to the poor Mariners.
They still created chances however, with Roberts, Marshall, McReady and Ball all coming close, but they saw the game off with little threat to Matt Glennon
’s goal as they sent the Shaymen fans home with plenty to cheer about.