Gareth Seddon’s fourth goal in four days proved to be the match winner as FC Halifax Town beat Gloucester 2-1.
After Liam Needham’s delightful opening goal, Seddon’s effort put The Shaymen on the way to a mostly trouble-free evening, but a penalty from Danny Andrew set up a tense finish to the game.
However, Town survived a late rally to make it ten points from the last four league games, with 16 goals to boot.
After Saturday’s 6-0 thumping of Droylsden, Neil Aspin understandably made no changes to his side, but will no doubt have been pleased to see a pitch in much better condition than the one which staged that drubbing.
Of course, it was the first of two visits to Football League grounds in a week, with the second to come on Saturday at Rochdale.
Town could get used to these kinds of surroundings and playing surfaces, and with more performances like this, may soon be taking a step closer to them.
Unsurprisingly, Seddon looked in the mood early on after his hat-trick at Droylsden, but was denied on separate occasions by men with the same name.
Goalkeeper Mike Green was equal to his low drive from an acute angle before defender Mike Green produced a superbly timed tackle as Seddon was about to shoot following Dan Gardner’s through ball.
Needham had also begun in tenacious fashion in the middle third, but displayed a touch of elegance in the 22nd minute with a delightful left-foot finish from the edge of the box after a flowing move saw the ball gradually but stylishly transported from left to right.
Town continued to treat the ball like a precious cargo as the confidence unsurprisingly gained from a 6-0 thrashing sizzled throughout the side, especially the twinkle-toed duo of Seddon and Gardner.
The pair were almost attacking Gloucester on their own at times, such was their creative mood.
As if to underline their potent threat, the latter found a pocket of space just outside the area after 30 minutes and deftly played in Seddon, who rounded goalkeeper Green with help from an inadvertant touch from a Gloucester defender before having the easiest of finishes.
It was no less than The Shaymen deserved, with Gloucester failing to test Matt Glennon before that, and their main threat coming from the odd, albeit dangerous, cross begging for a touch in the middle.
It took 40 minutes for the hosts to register their first shot thanks to a combination of diligent Town defending and fairly flat Gloucester attacking.
Lewis Hogg’s shot from a low driven corner had Glennon momentarily worried as it flew narrowly wide before the keeper could have been caught out after racing out of his box to clear, but the hastily returned shot drifted harmlessly off target,
Gloucester then had a penalty appeal turned down following the restart after Will Morford looked to be tripped just inside the box as the home side started the second half with a bit more fire in their bellies.
But Glennon still failed to be properly tested as Town came close to notching a decisive third when Liam Hogan rose higher than anyone else to meet Paul Marshall’s corner but headed just over.
His defensive partner Danny Lowe then produced a magnificent block when Morford broke clear but waited too long before pulling the trigger, giving Lowe the chance to bravely dive in the way of his shot.
If Gloucester were to have any chance of clawing back The Shaymen, it looked like that chance probably needed to go in as Town’s two goal lead seemed increasingly mountainous as the game went on.
But out of nowhere, Gloucester were given a lifeline when substitute Adam Mann was fouled by Lowe in the box amd full-back Danny Andrew sent Glennon the wrong way from the spot.
City were a rejuvinated team after that, suddenly carrying a threat that simply wasn’t there for most of the match up until then.
They moved the ball quicker and got more bodies forward, including Tom Webb, who was handed a clear chance to earn what had looked for so long an unlikely point when Glennon parried Mann’s shot into his path with two minutes left, but he miscued his shot from an angle and it drifted wide.
Gloucester: Green, Green (Wilson 72), Andrew, Coupe, Holland (Liddiard 68), Webb, Hogg, Harris, Davies (Mann 59), Morford, Rawlings. Subs not used: Mustoe.
Goalscorers: Andrew (80)
Shots on target: 1
Shots off target: 3
Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, McManus, Hogan, Needham, Lowe, Worthington, Marshall, Titchiner (Gregory 68), Gardner (Williams 83), Seddon. Subs not used: Senior, Qualter, Platt.
Goalscorers: Needham (22), Seddon (30)
Shots on target: 5
Shots off target: 2
Man of the match: Gareth Seddon