FC Halifax Town 5 Gloucester City 0

Lee Gregory hit a first half hat-trick as Town won with ease
Lee Gregory hit a first half hat-trick as Town won with ease
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Town scored five at home for the second time this season as they brushed aside Gloucester City thanks to four goals from Lee Gregory.

Gregory ran riot, scoring a first half hat-trick before adding a fourth mid-way through the second half in a game which saw Scott McManus make his long awaited comeback from injury and a lively debut for new signing Simon Hackney.

Click here to see the picture gallery from Saturday’s 5-0 win - photographs by Charles Round

Jon Worthington had given the hosts a dream start when he scored in the first minute, and Town also secured their second clean sheet of the season against a Gloucester side who played the final 20 minutes with ten man after they ran out of substitutions.

The Shaymen showed just one change from the side which strolled to victory against Hinckley United last week, with Gregory restored to the side in place of the suspended Gareth Seddon, who served the first of his three game ban following his dismissal at Bradford Park Avenue.

Town got the perfect start to the game when Worthington arrived to side foot Jason St Juste’s low cut back after a Gregory dummy on just 27 seconds.

Within thirty seconds of the re-start though, the goal scorer was in the book after sliding in on City skipper Matt Coupe.

And it got even better for the Shaymen on nine minutes when Johnson played in Gregory over the top, who waited for the ball to bounce before lifting it over Mike Green for 2-0.

With a comfortable score line so early, Town began to enjoy possession and created a good chance on 20 minutes, Johnson finding Gregory again, this time with an exquisite back heel, but Gregory’s cross was too deep for the arriving Chris Worsley.

Gloucester had the ball in the net themselves on 28 minutes, but Will Morford’s powerful strike was ruled out for offside, and the visitors saw their appeals for a penalty turned down just after the half hour when they claimed Jason Jarrett stooped to block a low cross with his arm.

The game was briefly stopped so that Jack Harris could receive treatment after he caught a Gregory volley from a yard away full in the face.

Gregory wasn’t the only one trying to give the Gloucester defenders a headache - Johnson should have scored after being fed by his strike partner.

But from the resulting corner Town did get their third. St Juste took it short to Marshall whose cross found it’s way to Gregory, who held off his man at the back post before swivelling and volley into the far corner.

And the striker completed his first half hat-trick on the stoke of half time, this time tapping in at the far post after another Marshall cross was flicked on by Liam Hogan, and the Shaymen were given a standing ovation as they left the field at the break.

Half-time saw the introduction of McManus for his first appearance of the season as he replaced St Juste, and the full-back was involved almost immediately as he clashed with fellow sub Asya Corrick.

Town’s first real effort of the half came on 53 minutes when Johnson’s hard work won a free-kick on the edge of the Gloucester area which Jarrett blazed over after being teed up by Marshall.

Worthington could have had a second but couldn’t control Gregory’s neat pass when just six yards out as Green smothered.

Just after the hour Neil Aspin introduced debutant Simon Hackney and he was immediately involved - wriggling between two defenders before cutting the ball back behind Gregory and Johnson.

In a rare venture forward, Gloucester full back Mike Green saw his deflected shot saved, and at the other end his fellow defender Harris needed to make a crucial block to stop Gregory’s low cross.

Gregory wasn’t content with three though, and added his fourth, and Town’s fifth, when he beat the offside trap and rounded Green before coolly slotting home.

Gloucester’s afternoon got even worse when they lost Darren Mullings to a shoulder injury with 20 minutes to go as Town piled on the pressure with a series of corners.

But Town were unable to add to their score, and had Glennon to thank for a sharp last minute save from Morford, as they wrapped up an easy win.

Teams.

FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, St Juste (McManus, 46 mins), Hogan, Jarrett (Bolland, 72 mins), Lowe, Worsley (Hackney, 60 mins), Marshall, Johnson, Gregory, Worthington. Unused subs: Senior, Needham.

Gloucester City: Green, Green, Harris, Coupe, Hamblin, Rawlings (Tilson, 46 mins), Liddiard (Corrick, 46 mins), Mullings, Edwards, Morford, Washbourne (Webb, 37 mins). Unused subs: Hunt.

Goals: Worthington (1), Gregory (9, 40, 45, 65)

Attendance: 1,291

HT: 4-0