Brighouse Town 1 FC Halifax 4

Ben Futcher headed Halifax's equaliser at Brighouse
Ben Futcher headed Halifax's equaliser at Brighouse

FC Halifax cruised to a 4-1 victory against a spirited Brighouse side.

A Ben Futcher header and three second half goals from Gareth Seddon, Lee Gregory and Jon Worthington saw the Shaymen home.

Halifax, fielding several trialists in their starting eleven, began the first half brightly and hit the bar in the third minute when one of them, Shelton Payne, saw his curling effort rattle the frame, but were stunned when the hosts took a seventh minute lead.

A short free kick released Brighouse striker Tom Matthews and with the Shaymen defence caught napping, James Hurtley stooped to head the ball high into the net.

The goal seemed to stun the visitors, who would have been caught out again if Ben Futcher hadn’t made a timely challenge to stop Ernest Boafa wriggling free.

But as the half wore on, Halifax began to take control and were soon level when Futcher rose highest at the back post to nod a trialist Paul Marshall’s corner past Tom Taylor.

Futcher was again involved two minutes later, this time nodding down to Dale Johnson whose shot on the turn was smartly saved by keeper Taylor.

With the scores level at the break, manager Neil Aspin, as expected, made eight changes, including the introduction of new signings Dan Gardner, Chris Worsely, Worthington and Seddon.

Seddon, signed from Fleetwood, was involved immediately and showed superb close control to beat a defender before drilling the towards fellow sub Gregory, whose poor chest control allowed Brighouse to clear.

Seddon’s running in behind was proving difficult for Brighouse to deal with, and the new man soon put his side ahead.

A powerful run by Garnder saw the midfield man hauled down on the edge of the area, and Seddon curled the resulting free kick exquisitely into the top corner leaving Taylor rooted.

With Brighouse starting to tire, Jason St Juste, filling in at left back for the injured Scott McManus, burst down the left and clipped the ball into the six yard box where Gregory was arriving to head home from almost on the goal line.

In a rare second half Brighouse attack, 18-year-old trialist Connor Qualter made a superb last ditch to stop the hosts reducing the deficit, and the Shaymen soon wrapped up the win when Gardner, who was impressive on debut, fed Seddon on the right hand side, and his perfectly weighted ball was thumped home by the head of Worthington.

Gregory could have had a second when he lifted wide after a through ball from Gardner, but it would have been harsh on a determind Brighouse side who kept their more illustrious opponents honest for the full 90 minutes.

Town travel to Mossley on Tuesday night before hosting Stockport County at the Shay on Saturday.

Halifax (First half): 1. Senior, 2. Toulson, 6. Hogan, 5. Futcher, 3. St Juste, 14. Payne, 8. Marshall, 4. Jarrett, 7. Wolfe, 9. Johnson, 10. Rainford.

(Second half) 12. Glennon, 6. Hogan, 17. Qualter, 16. Lowe, 3. St Juste, 15. Worsley, 40. Gardner, 20. Worthington, 4. Jarrett (11. Binns, 60), 22. Gregory, 18. Seddon.