Nuneaton 0-2 FC Halifax Town

Liberty Way stadium
Liberty Way stadium

A goal in each half from Lee Gregory and Scott McManus helped FC Halifax Town ease through to the first round of the FA Cup with a 2-0 win at Nuneaton.

The Shaymen produced a solid display to book their place in Sunday’s draw and claim a long overdue first win on the road to boot.

There was none of the drama of the last meeting between the two sides as this time Town’s second goal really was game over, with McManus’ arrowed drive from 30 yards adding to Gregory’s equally impressive opener to send Town into the first round proper.

Neil Aspin understandably kept the same side that started last week’s win over Welling, with the full extent of Town’s squad called into action to fill the seven spaces on the subs bench.

But the same man continued his starring role as Gregory produced a sublime finish to warm the cockles of even the coldest of the 181 travelling Town fans when he turned on a sixpence inside the box to acrobatically convert Adam Smith’s cross in off the far post.

Nuneaton didn’t crumble though, despite coming into the game on the back of a 4-1 home thumping to Gateshead, and almost levelled four minutes later through top-scorer Louis Moult, only for Gregory to clear off the line.

The odd long-range effort also caused momentary worry for the visitors, with Jon Adams and Adam Walker both seeing shots go narrowly wide from outside the box.

But, if anything, the hosts’ threat lessened as the game moved into the second-half, with neither side able to sustain a spell of pressure in the blustery conditions.

Nuneaton began to look more and more like a side shorn of confidence as they struggled to retain possession and test Matt Glennon.

Given Town’s away record this season, most Shaymen supporters may have been half-expecting another crushing comeback, but it never even threatened to materialise.

Town remained a threat on the break and doubled thir lead when McManus opted to shoot from long-range and was proved entirely correct when his effort flew past James Belshaw and into the top corner.

Another welcome sight was the first appearance of the season from Jon Worthington off the bench, while Town could have even extended their lead further through McManus, but his low shot from Smith’s cross was saved by Belshaw at his near post.

Nuneaton: Belshaw, Richens (Pearson 88), A Bell, Streete, Dean, Adams (M Bell 72), Walker (Hibbert 68), Armson, Moult, York, Trainer. Subs not used: Sleath, Taylor, Gordon, McNamee

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 9

Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, Roberts, Ainge, Lowe, Smith, Maynard, Pearson, McManus, Gardner (Worthington 72), Gregory. Subs not used: Senior, Wilson, McReady, Marshall, Holsgrove, Johnson.

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 7

Corners: 3

Attendance: 1,043

Town man of the match: Marc Roberts