Shaymen ease back into action

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Mossley 1

Halifax Town 5

Town picked up from where they left off last April as they opened pre-season with victory at Mossley, winning at a canter against their Evo Stik One North hosts.

And any thoughts that Jamie Vardy would have had his head turned by a big bid for his services from Stockport in midweek were quickly dispelled as he bagged two goals and provided the crosses for a couple from Lee Gregory.

There were many pleasing aspects apart from the goals - left wing back Danny Lowe bagged the other - with six of Neil Aspin’s summer recruits making their first appearances in a Town shirt.

Tom Baker led the side with typical tenacity in midfield, alongside Liam Needham in the first half and Simon Garner in the second, while the various combinations of centre backs - Liam Hogan and Scott McManus got full 90-minute stints with David Haggerty and Gregg Anderson 45 minutes each - although not unduly troubled, were effective.

The highlights of the early stages were a Baker crossfield pass that picked out Vardy, an Aaron Hardy cross from the right that was headed over by Lowe and Scott Hogan and Vardy combining well for Lowe to pull the ball back from the left.

Vardy stung home keeper Martin Pearson’s hands with a 25-yarder and when Haggerty flicked the ball goalwards soon after the keeper claimed.

The deadlock was finally broken after 14 minutes when Baker found Hardy wide on the right and his deep cross was knocked back by Lowe for Vardy to fire home.

Two minutes later the Shaymen were caught out at a free kick, although Joe Heap struck the effort superbly as it curled into the top corner.

The remainder of the half was pretty ordinary, although things did spice up a little when Scott Hogan and Aaron Chalmers went toe to toe after a challenge. The referee spoke to both of them and the two skippers.

And Town regained the lead in the 39th minute when, after decent appeals for a foul on Gregory were waved away, everyone seemed to stop apart from Lowe who struck his shot well and benefited from a big deflection as the ball flew into the net.

The keeper saved well from Hardy soon after and Vardy missed a great chance to double his tally when he fired over from eight yards after controlling a Baker pass.

The result may not have mattered, but it was put beyond doubt 10 minutes after the break with a couple of goals in quick succession.

A mistake by Lee Rick let Vardy in and he needed no second invitation as his low shot beat the keeper.

And when Gregory and the keeper tangled on the edge of the area the ball ran to Vardy on the left. He clipped a cross into the middle and Gregory finished well.

Gregory was denied a second by the keeper within a minute, from another Vardy cross, and after Simon Garner and Lowe had combined well Vardy sent an effort across the face of goal and wide.

It was all Town and they bagged a fifth goal after 63 minutes when Vardy crossed again and Gregory’s header bounced up off the bar, down onto the line and spun into the net.

Chalmers defended well when Garner fired in a free kick after Jack Dorney had been fouled after a mazy run and Liam Hogan headed Baker’s resulting corner wide.

Peter Band blocked another Garner effort soon after and this time it was Scott McManus whose header was narrowly off target from the corner.

There were a couple of further opportunities for Town goals, but Baker’s effort was blocked by a defender and , after a brilliant Danny Holland pass, a Vardy attempt suffered the same fate.

Mossley: Pearson, Chalmers, Coo, Halford, Band, Rick, Ingham, S McNiven, Egan, D McNiven, Heap. Subs: Swirad, Ashley, O’Brien, Cuff, Casey, Flint, Tosum

Halifax Town: Eastwood, Hardy, Lowe, L Hogan, Haggerty, McManus, Vardy, Baker, Gregory, S Hogan, needham. Subs: Anderson, Garner, Dorney, Holland.

Referee: J Hull