FC Halifax Town ran out 4-0 winners against Eastleigh at the Shay this afternoon.
It was a fantastic performance from The Shaymen, who dominated the game from start to finish and never looked like conceding.
Town started the game on the front-foot as they looked to assert their authority on the game. After winning a corner, the ball fell to Kieran Green on the edge of the box who got a good shot away that was deflected just wide, before the second corner in quick succession came to nothing.
The Shaymen had been very much on top in the game, but hadn’t put Eastleigh keeper Joe McDonnell under any pressure in the games opening stages. That was until the 22nd minute, when the opening goal came out of nowhere. Defender Andrew Boyce misjudged the time he had on the ball, allowing Jordan Slew to capitalize by tackling the Spitfires man, before coolly finishing with a good strike into the bottom right corner, giving Town the lead.
As the game progressed, the visitors continued to have to play on the counter-attack with Halifax pushing men forward in search of a second. The best chance in the remainder of the first-half fell to Billy Waters after receiving the ball from Matty Warburton just outside the area. Waters got a good shot away at the near post, however the save matched the quality of the strike, with McDonnell pushing the ball away from danger.
The Spitfires did manage to threaten just before half-time as Tom Whelan advanced into the area and got a good shot away, but was denied by a save with the feet from Sam Johnson.
Town continued to push for a second at the start of the second-half as they immediately created a good chance when Waters found Warburton in the area, but the midfielders shot from a tight angle was just wide.
Minutes later, Waters played a through ball to Matty Stenson who was twelve yards from goal, but a fantastic tackle from Tom Broadbent stopped the striker from being able to get his shot away, keeping the score at just 1-0. Waters continued to terrorise the Eastleigh defence and got another good shot away as The Shaymen continued to dominate, however his effort was well saved by McDonnell in the Eastleigh goal.
Joe McDonnell continued to be the thorn in The Shaymen’s side as they kept creating chances in the second-half. Great link up play from Warburton and Stenson saw Stenson again in on goal, but another save from McDonnell denied the striker of a much deserved goal.
The game was played almost entirely in the Eastleigh half, in a rampant performance from The Shaymen who kept getting in behind the Eastleigh defence. A fantastic lofted ball from Warburton found Billy Waters who beared down on goal with just McDonnell to beat, but the forward uncharacteristically fired over, with Town just unable to find a second despite a performance that more than merited it.
In the 65th minute though, The Shaymen finally had their second, with Jordan Slew bagging his second of the game, and tenth of the season. After picking the ball up 25 yards out, the wide man unleashed a brilliant shot which left McDonnell no chance as it nestled into the bottom left corner.
It could have been a third for Slew moments later as he latched onto a cross at the back post and got a good shot away, but his shot was blocked and went wide for a Town corner.
Jamie Allen replaced Matty Stenson in the 68th minute, and got in on the action less than ten minutes later. A Matty Warburton free kick led to a scramble in the penalty area, with the ball eventually falling to Jamie Allen, who fired the ball powerfully past Joe McDonnell to make it 3-0 to the Shaymen, putting the game beyond any doubt with his first goal of the season.
After a brilliant performance, it was only right Matty Warburton had a goal to mark it, and that’s exactly what he got as the Shaymen made it 4-0 late on. The ball fell to the Town midfielder just inside the area, and he made no mistake with a great strike into the top right corner to top off a fantastic performance from Town.
FC Halifax Town:
1 Sam Johnson, 2 Jay Benn (3 Jack Senior 81), 6 Tom Bradbury, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Matty Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 14 Matty Stenson (7 Jamie Allen 68), 17 Kian Spence, 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew, 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 4 Luke Summerfield, 5 Jesse Debrah, 26 Martin Woods
1 Joe McDonell, 2 Josh Hare, 3 Michael Kelly, 5 Tom Broadbent, 6 Andrew Boyce, 8 Harry Pritchard (26 Vinny Harper 75), 10 Tyrone Barnett (9 Dan Smith 79), 17 Danny Whitehall (7 Sam Smart 66), 19 Danny Hollands ©, 20 Tom Whelan, 25 Christian Maghoma
Subs: 13 Ross Flitney, 21 Thomas Bragg
Referee: Aaron Jackson
Goals: Slew 22, 65, Allen 73, Warburton 80
Yellow Cards: Maghoma 72, Warren 90
Red Cards: Strevens (manager) 60
Attendance: 1822 (54 away)
FC Halifax Town 4 Eastleigh 0
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