Three goals in the first 50 minutes saw FC Halifax Town slump to a 3-0 defeat at Aldershot.
Goals from Adam May and Adam McDonnell put Aldershot 2-0 up at half-time, a score which flattered the hosts.
But any plans Town had of getting back in the game were shattered when Jake Gallagher added a third just after the break.
And after that, it was game over.
There were enough bright moments for Town, who may have got something from the match, or at least made it more of a contest, had they been more clinical, but they were punished for some generous defending and failing to take their chances.
Aldershot took the lead amid a decent start by Halifax, who saw more of the ball, and looked more comfortable with it than the hosts.
But The Shots gobbled up their first chance when May swept in Gallagher’s low cross from the right after he was fed by McDonnell’s through ball.
Town didn’t seem fazed by the hosts’ early goal though, and continued to play some decent football, and were aggressive in the tackle.
But McDonnell was then on the end of the next cross into the Halifax box by Matt McClure with a controlled finish at the far post.
Two shots on target, two goals.
There were echoes of Maidenhead away as Aldershot found it too easy to work a route to goal, with Town’s defence unable to cope with their sharp passing and clever movement.
Nathan Clarke should have halved the deficit when he met James Berrett’s free-kick, but headed across goal at the far post.
Town went on to play more like the home side at times, enjoying more possession, but again just lacked the quality to convert it into goals; while Aldershot had shown a killer instinct to take their chances, Town had not.
Jacob Hanson and Ryan Sellers were two of Town’s best attacking outlets when both full-backs marauded down the flanks; from a Sellers cross, Dayle Southwell glanced a header wide.
Kyle Wootton, making his first start in place of Jonathan Edwards, had headed over from an early corner at 0-0, but was otherwise a peripheral figure, and got little change from the home side’s two centre-halves.
Halifax’s approach play was good though, and they worked the ball into some good areas, but the hosts’ goalkeeper Jake Cole remained untested by half-time.
Aldershot would have made it a surely insurmountable 3-0 just before the interval but for Sam Johnson’s terrific save to tip over May’s superb shot from 25 yards.
But Johnson was culpable in Aldershot’s third just three minutes after the restart when he punched a cross straight to Scott Rendell, who then found Gallagher, who looped at header across goal and in.
Three shots on target. Three goals.
That prompted a double change as Edwards and the lesser-spotted Cameron King replaced Wootton and Simon Lenighan.
Southwell saw a shot cleared off the line after going round keeper Cole, but was booked for his protestations that it had gone in before Lewis Kinsella’s clearance.
Southwell then sent a driven shot crashing narrowly over. But it all seemed too little, too late, even with more than half-an-hour to go.
Confidence was flowing for Aldershot now, while Halifax started to look a little dispirited, winning fewer 50-50 balls and becoming sloppier in possession.
Jordan Preston, who hobbled off in added time with what looked like a possible hamstring injury, hit the woodwork from six yards at a tight angle with just over 10 minutes remaining, which symbolised Town’s day pretty well, before firing off target after a burst into the box.
Aldershot: Cole, McCoy, Fowler, Osho, Kinsella, Gallagher (Howell 76), May, Booty, McDonnell, McClure (Fenelon 67), Rendell (Holman 70). Subs not used: Mannion, Lelan.
Scorers: May (8), McDonnell (21), Gallagher (48)
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Halifax: Johnson, Hanson, Clarke, Maher, Sellers, Lenighan (King 53), Berrett, Odelusi, Southwell, Preston (Staunton 90), Wootton (Edwards 53). Subs not used: Rowley, Duckworth.
Shots on target:
Shots off target:
Referee: Sam Allison
Town man of the match: Jacob Hanson