FC Halifax Town move up into the play-offs places after a 2-0 victory against champions elect Luton Town at The Shay.
A first half header by Marc Roberts along with a second half striker’s goal by the Skrill Premier’s new top goal scorer Lee Gregory sealed the win.
The win means Neil Aspin’s side have won five in a row with seven games left to play. Luton Town however suffer their first away defeat since September.
Straight from the kick-off James Bolton drifted a lovely ball into Gregory who was fouled awfully by Steve McNulty. Paul Marshall’s free-kick was diverted wide by Ronnie Henry and the corner came to nothing as Marc Roberts’ header was stopped by Mark Tyler.
The Shaymen started brilliantly showing real intensity throughout the pitch, this was encapsulated by Matty Pearson when he won the ball with a perfect slide tackle on Henry but cannoned his shot over.
More early Town pressure came when Ryan Crowther was pushed to the ground on the edge of the area, Adam Smith looped the free-kick in towards Roberts and there was some more last ditch defending from the Hatters.
Marshall clipped a luscious through ball into Smith who glided into the area, his chipped cross just evaded everyone but Luton were forced to concede a corner.
The first corner hit a Hatters player and went straight out the other side for a second Town corner. Smith with a second bite at the cherry dinked a delicious corner right onto the head of Roberts who headed into the ground and despite the best efforts of Pelly Ruddock Mpanzi Town took the lead.
Luton came to life with a series of corners themselves, one of which fell at the feet of Andre Gray who could get a shot away before Halifax managed to scramble it clear, first with a Pearson back-header then with a Roberts flick.
The game seemed to have hit a lull midway through the first-half with the Shaymen defence having to quieten down the Hatters threats of Gray, Alex Lawless and Paul Benson.
Gregory’s first sight of goal came in the 36th minute straight from a Glennon long free-kick, Gregory’s control was impeccable in the box, he turned one way and then the other before having his shot blocked and cleared by Fraser Franks.
Town tried once more to double their lead with a good team move, starting with Gregory feeding the ball to McManus, the ball found its way over to Smith who tried a cross before it was cleared out only to Crowther whose in-winging right footed shot whistled wide.
Luton however went up the other end with Benson missing a one-on-one under good pressure from goal-scoring Roberts.
Gray’s first real sniff at goal came on the last minute of the half when he muscled his way past McManus and Ainge before shaping to shoot on his favoured left foot but instead jinked it onto his right and spooned it high and wide.
Gray once more in stoppage time controlled it well in the box but over-hit his square pass to Benson who couldn’t even stop the ball going out for a throw-in. FC Halifax went it one goal to the good at half-time.
The second half picked up from where the last one left off with Gray firing right footed over the bar.
The defenders were coming out on top in the second half with McNulty getting away with a tug on Gregory before Simon Ainge matched the run of former team-mate Gray before getting a second tackle in much to the displeasure of the Hatters travelling fans.
Ainge then tried a hopeful looped through ball from the back towards Gregory, the Town captain took it round the Luton goalkeeper first time with his head but couldn’t convert the chance from a very tight angle.
Gregory does what he does best on the 68th minute after a nothing pass was turned into a cutting through ball as McNulty let the ball run through and the Shaymen captain latched on to it, sold Franks a few step-overs before slotting the ball low into the bottom right corner.
Gregory won the side battle as moments late Gray lashed wide from inside the box and was then substituted. Luton continued to test the Town defence with a succession of long free-kicks and corners but nothing was challenging Glennon’s goal.
Town themselves weren’t settling on the two goal cushion as a Pearson and Smith couldn’t get a shot off when there was another a scramble in the box, then moments later Pearson unleashed a firecracker that was well held by Tyler.
Luton late into the game attempted to get back in it but Lawless and Cullen couldn’t get past the solid Roberts and Ainge.
The final whistle was met with happy Shaymen cheers as Town claim a superb scalp against table toppers Luton.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Bolton, McManus, Ainge, Roberts, Marshall, A Smith, Pearson, Maynard, Crowther, Gregory © SUBS: Senior, Wilson, C Smith, Lowe, Jackson
Luton Town: Tyler, Franks, McNulty, Lawless, Griffiths, McGeehan, Robinson, Henry ©, Benson, Gray, Ruddock Mpanzi SUBS: Charles, Cullen, Rooney, Justham, Shaw
Referee: Karl Evans
Assistant Referee’s: Mark Ackerman, Anthony Moore
Fourth Official: Barry Lamb
Goals Marc Roberts, 18, Lee Gregory 68
Cards Adam Smith, 65
Subs Luton – Ruddock Mpanzi off Cullen on 55- Gray off for Rooney
Halifax subs – Crowther off Jackson on 68 Smith off Wilson on 81
Attendance 3586 (1179 away)
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