Sam Johnson claimed a clean sheet on his 250th Shaymen appearance as FC Halifax Town marched to a commanding victory over local rivals Stockport County.
Matty Warburton scored past his former employers, with Tom Bradbury and Billy Waters also netting to crown a brilliant display.
The first ten minutes of the game saw few chances, with a physical affair the result of both teams trying to find their feet. Mark Kitching went up for an early duel with Tyrell Warren, but landed awkwardly, eventually able to carry on.
The first moment in the game came in the twelfth minute, when Will Collar looked to find Paddy Madden at the back post for Stockport, but his cross was overhit.
Stockport continued to push forward and were denied by the woodwork, as John Rooney collected the ball on the edge of the box. He skipped past several Town defenders before curling an effort towards the far post which, to Sam Johnson’s relief, clipped the woodwork before being cleared to safety.
The chances continued to fall Stockport County’s way, this time Paddy Madden’s volley from the edge of the box was well blocked by Matty Warburton as the Hatters looked to make their early pressure count. The first thirty minutes of the game were frustrating for Town, who looked to break on several occasions only to be denied by the linesman’s flag.
The first presentable opportunity of the game came in the thirty-fourth minute, when fullback Tyrell Warren crossed for in-form Billy Waters, but his flick on drifted wide of the far post.
Stockport’s best chance of the game came from the boot of Shaymen Captain Niall Maher, who in sliding in to clear a low Reid cross inadvertently played the ball against his own crossbar and behind for a corner, much to his relief.
As the Shaymen looked to break forward, former Town defender Liam Hogan brought down Matty Warburton on the edge of the box, picking up a yellow card for the challenge. Warburton picked himself up and unleashed a fierce effort towards the bottom corner, leaving Stockport goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe little chance, with the former Stockport player opening his account for the season.
Alex Reid had a chance just before halftime, but rushed his shot in a good position, his effort ultimately drifting wide.
In the first minute of the second half, Billy Waters low effort was saved by Hinchliffe, as Town looked to resume their control of the game. Just a few minutes later, it was Sam Johnson who was called into action, clawing a dangerous Southam-Hales cross away from under his crossbar.
Jordan Slew had two great moments for the Shaymen, first latching onto a Kieran Green ball before firing low across the box to no avail. He then shot from just inside the area, but Hinchliffe was well placed to gather his powerful strike.
Billy Waters then had a big chance in the sixtieth minute but lofted the ball wide of the goal with only the keeper to beat. As the Shaymen continued to pour forward, it was Stockport County who found themselves with a golden opportunity as Madden slotted Alex Reid through on goal, but a fantastic last-ditch tackle Tyrell Warren denied the Hatters. Warren celebrating his new contract in style with a brilliant piece of defending.
Halifax’s second half dominance was made to count in the seventy-eighth as Jordan Slew and substitute Jamie Allen combined brilliantly down the right-hand side, the latter crossing for Tom Bradbury to bag his second goal in two games this season. The centre-half could barely miss after Allen’s brilliant craftsmanship.
As the game drew to a close, Halifax began to control proceedings, with Stockport unable to affect the game in any way, shape or form. Things got better for the Shaymen as Billy Waters was slotted through on goal by Matty Warburton, who made no mistake in claiming his sixth goal in seven games. The supporters behind the goal were jubilant, as FC Halifax Town claimed a huge victory over their local rivals.
Pete Wild’s men will travel to Aldershot next Saturday as they look to carry on their positive start to the season.
FC Halifax Town
1 Sam Johnson, 3 Jack Senior, 6 Tom Bradbury, 8 Kieran Green, 10 Matty Warburton, 11 Billy Waters, 17 Kian Spence (26 Martin Woods 76), 20 Harvey Gilmour (7 Jamie Allen 60) 21 Tyrell Warren, 25 Jordan Slew (16 Dom Tear 90), 31 Niall Maher ©
Subs: 15 Gerry McDonagh, 18 Javid Swaby-Neavin
1 Ben Hinchliffe, 3 Mark Kitching, 4 Liam Hogan ©, 6 Ben Barclay, 7 Macauley Southam-Hales, 8 John Rooney, 9 Paddy Madden, 14 Will Collar (21 Tom Walker 62), 18 Ryan Croasdale, 19 Alex Reid, 25 Zeki Fryers (10 Ben Whitfield 62)
Subs: 5 Ash Palmer, 15 Arjan Raikhy, 17 Ryan Rydel
Referee: Scott Simpson
Goals: Warburton 41, Bradbury 78, Waters 90
Yellow Cards: Hogan 40
Attendance: 2661 (868 away)
FC Halifax Town 3 Stockport County 0
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