Boston United 1-4 FC Halifax Town

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FC Halifax Town outclassed their hosts as they beat 10-man Boston 4-1 to record a sixth consecutive win for the first time in nearly four years.

The result moved Town back into the play-off places as they recorded half-a-dozen victories on the bounce for the first time since December 2012.

Tom Denton was back in the starting line-up and back among the goals as he headed in Josh Macdonald’s cross after 18 minutes.

Those at the back of the queue at the tea bar might have missed Alex Simmons’ goal about 22 seconds after half-time to double Town’s lead.

Another Halifax goal would have finished off the hosts sooner, who rallied after having Gregg Smith sent-off for a second yellow card and got one back through Jay Rollins.

But Simmons’ second - his seventh in as many games - put the result beyond doubt before Denton curled home a delightful fourth to round off the scoring.

Who says Town can’t be easy on the eye? It might only have been against 10-man Boston, but it was stylish stuff from The Shaymen.

Halifax started much the better side, with the returning Denton, in place of Richard Peniket who dropped to the bench, playing as if he’d never been away with some clever flick-ons and lay-offs.

He and Josh Macdonald both got a couple of sights of goal in the first 15 minutes, and the two combined for Town’s opener.

Macdonald’s pace and strength got the better of flailing left-back Ben Gordon and his excellent cross was headed back across goal and in by Denton.

That silenced the small section of Boston fans who had been booing the striker for what they felt was his overly-aggressive part in the play-off semi-final with North Ferriby last season.

Only a superb block prevented Liam King’s goal-bound effort finding the net soon afterwards as the hosts struggled to muster a response.

Time and again King, Simmons and Macdonald ran at the Boston defence with the ball, with United hardly getting out of their own half and Halifax the sharper and hungrier team.

The pitch - apart from actually consisting of grass this time - was a different proposition to Harrogate’s surface last week, with some boggy patches and bobbles in places, but Halifax handled it far better than Boston, who often lost their footing in dangerous areas.

Denton was booked a few minutes after his goal for a foul on Joe Maguire, much to the delight of the home fans, with a mini melee breaking out between a clutch of players in the aftermath.

Boston’s first-half display was summed up when striker Gregg Smith tried to flick the ball over his head but ended up whacking it into his face.

Too many times, passes went astray when Boston were trying to build attacks, while the midfield trio of King, David Lynch and Jordan Sinnott kept Town ticking over by winning second balls and retaining possession.

Ex-Town winger Jason St Juste was deployed on the right but his continual inclination to cut in on his preferred left-foot rendered him too predictable, although Lewis Hilliard nodded wide from St Juste’s cross in Boston’s only meaningful chance of the first-half moments before the break.

Any fears Town should have had more to show for their superiority were allayed less than 30 seconds after the restart when Simmons bustled his way through a challenge that was barely even half-hearted before coolly slipping the ball under the on-rushing Dion-Curtis Henry in-front of the 200 travelling Halifax fans.

Smith headed straight at Drench soon afterwards, but it already felt like a forlorn effort for Boston to try and rescue anything, even more so when the striker was sent-off for a second booking after a late challenge on Josh Wilde.

Boston were there for the taking now, with Denton and Sinnott both missing good chances, the latter after Macdonald flicked the ball over the beleaguered Gordon before outpacing him to cross.

King fizzed a volley just wide minutes before Boston got a goal even their most fervent supporters can’t have seen coming when ex-Town man Waide Fairhurst’s cross was turned in from close range by the unmarked Rollins.

Normal service was resumed as Denton and substitute Richard Peniket both tested Henry before Simmons - a former Boston loanee - got his second with a superb rising drive from the edge of the box.

Those fans that had booed Denton probably stood up to leave after watching him curl a superb shot out of Henry’s reach from 20 yards for Halifax’s coup de grace.

Boston: Henry; Thomas (Chippendale 66), Maguire, Robinson, Gordon; Marshall, Agnew (Fairhurst 45), Hilliard, St Juste (Couzens 66), Rollins, Smith. Subs not used: Wildin, Colley.

Scorer: Rollins (71)

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 8

Halifax: Drench, Moyo (Burrow 89), Garner, Hotte, Wilde, Macdonald (Hibbs 82), King, Lynch, Sinnott (Peniket 73), Simmons, Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Brown.

Scorers: Denton (18, 87), Simmons (46, 79)

Shots on target: 11

Shots off target: 10

Corners: 5

Attendance: 1,236

Town man of the match: Tom Denton

Referee: Paul Graham