FC Halifax Town 5-0 Tamworth

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FC Halifax Town will play Barrow in the second round of the FA Trophy after thrashing Tamworth 5-0 at The Shay.

Town also kept their first clean sheet, barring the West Riding County Cup, for the first time in 35 games and made it 14 goals in their last four matches to boot.

Two goals from Kingsley James and one each for Shaquille McDonald, Nicky Wroe and substitute Connor Hughes earned Halifax a £5,000 prize for reaching the next round and maintained Jim Harvey’s unbeaten record at the helm.

Tamworth had only lost once this season going into the game, but failed to live with a confident Shaymen side.

Saturday’s postponement of the tie meant Town had gone over a month since their last defeat - almost unthinkable during some of the turmoil at the club this season - and are now four games unbeaten for the first time since early April.

McDonald replaced namesake Josh for his first senior appearance since Cheltenham’s 2-1 defeat at Wycombe on April 11, while Kevin Roberts replaced Matty Brown.

The debutant offered pace in abundance on the right, but it was Shaun Tuton on the left who caught the eye most with his characteristic pace and aggression when he got the ball.

One run petered out into nothing, but his next, after a delightful touch by Jordan Burrow, culminated in a Tamworth clearance falling into James’ path, who belted his shot into the top corner from 20 yards out.

Tamworth had only lost once all season, but looked a little lost before James’ goal; the best they could muster in response was a run and weak shot by former Town target Elliott Durrell.

It was the first time Halifax had gone into a game as favourites for a while, and they were justifying the tag.

Another marauding run by Tuton set up Town’s second, with Wroe’s shot blocked before McDonald fired in the rebound hard and low beyond James Belshaw for his first goal in senior football; no wonder he celebrated with a back flip - don’t get too many of them down The Shay.

Whether recent reports linking Tuton to Cardiff have even a grain of truth or not remains to be seen, but performances like this will surely see plenty of Football League scouts flocking to see what the fuss is about.

Another Tuton run got behind the Tamworth defence before his cross was cleared to Clappison, who shot over.

Tamworth had only lost once in 10 away games this season, and were unbeaten in their previous eight outings, but had shown little of that form so far.

However, the visitors came close to halving the deficit when ex-Town striker Ross Dyer forced Sam Johnson into a fine save before Stephen Tomassen’s shot was blocked from the resulting corner.

Town then broke through Tuton - who else? - before McDonald’s shot was saved at the second attempt; had that gone in, it could have been over before half-time.

But Tamworth showed some spirit after the restart, with Johnson saving Dyer’s bullet header from a corner and Durrell testing the keeper from the edge of the box.

Halifax were sloppier in possession after the interval though, exemplified by Johnson’s attempted clearance which was charged down before it mercifully rebounded to his grasp.

But captain Wroe calmed any nerves when he caught a Tamworth defender napping on the ball and tapped the ball in after his initial shot was saved.

Hughes then added polish to the scoreline when his right-foot shot was deflected in for his first goal since netting in the 2-2 draw with Bromley back in August, with Town scoring four times for the third game under Harvey.

Hughes then turned provider for James with a clever cut back for the former Chester midfielder to blast in his second of the night.

Halifax: Johnson, Bolton, Bencherif, Clappison (Walker 69), McManus, Roberts, Wroe, James, S McDonaldm (J Macdonald 58), Tuton (Hughes 72), Burrow. Subs not used: Porter, Hibbs.

Scorers: James (13, 88), McDonald (28), Wroe (58), Hughes (79)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 5

Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Heaton, Preston, Taylor, Durrell, Clarke, Fowler (Mettam 62), Strong, Tomassen (Smith 62), Dyer (Davies 79). Subs not used: Morrell.

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 7

Attendance: 439

Town man of the match: Shaun Tuton