Josh Staunton’s early goal gave FC Halifax Town a winning start to their pre-season campaign as they beat Farsley Celtic 1-0.
Seventy-seven days after Town’s 2-0 final day win at Fylde, nine of that matchday squad were no longer at the club.
A little later than originally planned due to Tuesday’s game at Frickley being cancelled, Halifax got their pre-season campaign up and running, and were given a decent test by their National League North hosts.
Three of Town’s four new signings - Jamie Allen, Jack Earing and Tobi Sho-Silva - started, with the fourth, Jack Appleyard, playing the second-half.
Of the four trialists involved, one started at left-back, with the others brought on during the first-half - watching on were injured quartet Matty Brown, Josh Macdonald, Dayle Southwell and Sanmi Odelusi.
The Farsley pitch could have done with the same trim that Sam Johnson had to his hair over the summer, making the roll of the ball difficult to judge at times.
New signing Jack Earing caught the eye with good control, touch and range of passing; he and Cameron King, who also impressed, should offer plenty of guile and creativity in midfield this season.
Jamie Allen saw lots of the ball on the left flank, cutting in on his right-foot, while Tobi Sho-Silva was more of a peripheral figure, but looked quick off the mark.
Earing’s corner was met with a powerful close-range header by Staunton to give them an early lead.
It could have been added to when Cameron King curled a shot wide from just outside the box, and when Sho-Silva latched onto a clever through ball and fired a low shot just wide of the far post.
Staunton nearly scored again after 20 minutes but Farsley keeper Elliott Wynne reacted well to tip his shot from another corner round the post at full-stretch.
Farsley created the odd chance, with a header glanced just wide from a deep cross, and a low shot easily saved by Johnson after some nice build-up play.
Earing had a chance to score a few minutes after the restart but Wynne saved his low shot from 12 yards after tenacity by Sho-Silva had win possession in the box.
Ben Atkinson should have done better for Farsley when he fired into the side-netting from an angle inside the box
Town’s higher-league class had told at times in the first-half, with Town more comfortable and sharper on the ball, but it was a more even contest after the restart, although chances decreased as the rolling substitutions increased.
Of Town’s trialists, if their left-back is to earn a contract, he will need to heed Jamie Fullarton’s shouts to be “quicker”, although he showed some decent touches and tried to get forward.
Town’s number 17 offered some calmness and composure in central midfield, the number 16 alongside him arguably less so and the number 15 on the right-flank was rarely involved.
The Shaymen were always the likelier to score, and should have done through Allen, who twice took too long when in on goal, and failed to produce a shot.
Farsley could have equalised seven minutes from the end but a corner was headed wide Adam Clayton from 10 yards out.
Farsley: Wynne, Richards, Clayton, Higgins, Baldwin, B Atkinson, C Atkinson, Walton, Hayhurst, Walker, Cartman. Subs: Trennery, Parking, Ellis, Bett, Boateng.
Halifax: Johnson, Duckworth, Trialist, Clarke, Staunton, Maher, Earing, Hanson, King, Allen, Sho-Silva. Subs: Appleyard, Freedman, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.
Scorer: Staunton (9)
Town man of the match: Jack Earing
Referee: Akeel Ahmed