FC Halifax Town 2-0 Altrincham: Goals from Slew and Waters make it back-to-back wins for Shaymen
Jordan Slew's first goal for the club and Billy Waters' third in three games saw FC Halifax Town beat Altrincham 2-0 at The Shay.
It's back-to-back wins for Halifax now after their opening day defeat to Maidenhead - remember that?
The Shaymen produced some stylish football and fully deserved their win against an Altrincham team who were a distant second best.
It took time for the goals to arrive, but Town were patient, stuck to their beliefs and were rewarded.
Halifax's short, sharp passing and interchanging positions was good to watch, they attacked with tempo, got players forward and showed plenty of adventure.
All that was lacking was the cutting edge.
Slew's shot was saved by Tony Thompson after a cross-shot was cleared in-front of goal during a hectic few seconds in the Altrincham box, with Town well on top.
No wonder Altrincham wanted to slow the game down and curb the hosts' enthusiasm.
Matty Warburton was the conduit for Halifax, always available for a pass and always moving, linking play, joining the dots.
Waters, Warburton and Gilmour dove-tailed nicely down the left half of the pitch, while Jay Benn and Jack Senior, who have both started the season well, added an extra dimension to Town's attacks too by pushing high up the flanks.
Altrincham were offering next to nothing going forward, but were alert and assured at the back.
The opening half hour was encapsulated when Benn was played through on goal with a superb pass but denied a shot at goal by a terrific tackle from Tom Hannigan.
Halifax were in complete control of the contest, but their threat waned as the opening half went on, getting into Altrincham's box less and having fewer attempts at goal.
There was a fantastic turn and hit by Warburton that was tipped over by Thompson, but Halifax were having to work hard for any openings against a disciplined Altrincham.
Their striker Marcus Dinanga had a forgettable first 45 minutes, fluffing his attempted shot when a low cross from the left found him near the penalty spot, and grossly over-hitting a pass when the visitors had three against two on a counter-attack.
Hitting Town on the break was all Alty were restricted to, and by half-time, Sam Johnson was still to be tested.
Waters should have put Town in-front after the restart, if not with his first chance, a glancing header over the bar from Benn's drilled cross, then certainly his second, when Martin Woods' cross found him in space in the box, but after taking a touch, his weak finish was easily saved.
But Waters, who worked exceptionally hard up top, had a big hand in the opener, leading a Town break before laying the ball right to Slew, whose low shot across goal found the far corner.
Ironically, the goal came amid Altrincham's best spell in the match, with Josh Hancock's tame shot saved by Johnson before he blazed over from 12 yards and then Ryan Colclough's effort was kept out.
Game management kicked in from The Shaymen, who lowered the tempo a tad, tapped on the brakes and stemmed the tide.
Town were staying in shape now, retaining possession, taking fewer risks.
And it worked, with the game almost entering sleep mode and Altrincham were unable to break the cycle.
Instead, Waters capped a fine display, having endeared himself to the Town fans with his non-stop running, when he hooked a fine finish across goal after Warburton had failed to connect with a low cross.
Halifax: Johnson, Benn, Maher, Bradbury, Senior, Summerfield, Woods (Green 76), Waters, Warburton (Spence 86), Gilmour, Slew (Allen 66). Subs not used: Warren, Debrah
Scorers: Slew (58), Waters (84)
Shots on target: 6
Shots off target: 5
Altrincham: Thompson, Senior, Hannigan, Mullarkey, Bunney (Pringle 76), Moult, Kirby, Hancock (Leitch-Smith 66), Mooney (Jackson 63), Colclough, Dinanga. Subs not used: Sutton, Peers.
Shots on target: 3
Shots off target: 6
Referee: Adam Herczeg
Town man of the match: Maher, Senior, Warburton and Woods all deserve a mention, but Billy Waters takes it for an industrious display capped off with his well-taken goal