FC Halifax Town 4 Droylsden 1

Dale Johnson celebrated scoring against his former side while Alex Titchiner bagged a hat-trick in the 4-1 win
Dale Johnson celebrated scoring against his former side while Alex Titchiner bagged a hat-trick in the 4-1 win

A hat-trick from Alex Titchiner and a solo effort from Dale Johnson were enough to see FC Halifax Town claim the points at home to Droylsden.

Titchiner, on loan for a month from Fleetwood, scored twice in ten second half minutes to put Town in the driving seat in what had been until then a frustrating afternoon at the Shay.

Droylsden pulled one back with ten minutes to go through James Ellison, but Dale Johnson’s solo effort restored Town’s two goal cushion within a minute to end the Bloods’ hopes of a come back.

Town had struggled to break down a determined Drolysden side and had gone in level at the break, but improved dramatically in the second half and Titchiner’s calm finish in stoppage time sealed his hat-trick and put the icing on a 4-1 win.

Click here to see the picture gallery from the game - photographs by Jim Fitton

Town made just one change from the side which won at Cammell Laird last Saturday in the FA Trophy, with Alex Johnson making his first start for the Shaymen in place of Chris Worsley who dropped to the bench.

Johnson was involved straight from the off, and after a jinking run in the first minute which ultimately came to nothing, he headed Alex Titchiner’s eighth minute cross wide from inside the six yard box.

Town’s first shot on target came just two minutes later when Jason Jarrett’s clever dummy allowed the ball to roll to Paul Marshall, whose twenty yard effort was palmed into the air before being caught at the second attempt by Droylsden keeper Dale Latham.

The hosts first effort came from a free-kick 20 yards out - given despite Jon Worthington appearing to win the ball as he slid in - but James Ellison blasted his shot high of Matt Glennon’s goal.

Seddon was winning everything in the air but his first chance came on the ground when he shot wide after a neat turn from 25 yards, and Liam Hogan stepped out of defence to try his luck from even further out sixty seconds later but with the same result.

Droylsden kept possession well and looked a better side than their league position of 23rd suggested as they frustrated Town without creating anything clear cut.

Town were forced into playing on the break, but doing so almost saw them take the lead when Seddon tapped in at the back post after Johnson’s shot was parried out - only for the linesman’s flag to deny him.

Droylsden had a good chance to take the lead in time added on but Steve Hall smashed Ellison’s cut back over as they side went in level at the break.

Dale replaced Alex from the second half as Aspin stuck with three up front, but Droylsden had the first chance of the half when Ellison headed straight at Glennon.

Seddon headed wide at the other end not long afterwards after a deep cross from the right, but he never looked like getting his effort on target as he stretched to connect, but shortly after Worthington made the perfect contact with a volley from the edge of the area but it was straight at Latham.

The home faithful had to wait until the hour for their goal, but eventually it came.

After good play down the right Hogan went powering through before squaring to Titchiner, who rolled the ball into the bottom corner with his left foot.

The relief around the Shay was clear - though Town fans had their hearts in their mouths when Danny Lowe turned the lively Mike Bakare’s cross inches wide of his own goal on 68 minutes.

Lowe was instrumental in Town’s second though when he fed Titchiner down the left, the striker then holding off his defender before firing left footed beyond Latham for this second of the game.

Droylsden pulled one back with ten minutes to go when they caught Town napping with a well worked short free-kick which eventually result in Ellison heading in unmarked at the back post, but the Shaymen responded immediately - Johnson holding off his man with a strong run and calm finish to restore the two goal lead.

Seddon could have added a late fourth and so could substitute Lee Gregory but Latham stood firm in the Droylsden goal, though he could do nothing to stop Titchiner completing his hat-trick deep in added time with a composed right foot finish after a long ball over the top as Town continued their push towards promotion.

FC Halifax: Glennon, Bolland, McManus, Hogan, Jarrett, (Worsley, 63 mins) Lowe, Worthington, Alex Johnson (Dale Johnson, 46 mins), Titchiner, Marshall, Seddon (Gregory, 83 mins). Unused subs: Senior, Gardner.

Droylsden: Latham, Derbyshire, Holden, Kerr, Coleman, Sissons, Hall (Rick, 63 mins), Killeen (Evans, 76 mins), Ellison, Logan, Bakare (O’Neill, 68 mins). Unused subs: Langford, Jacombs.

HT: 0-0

Attendance: 1,332

Goals: Titchiner (60, 70, 90+2) Ellison (80) Dale Johnson (81)