Corby Town 2
Halifax Town 4
Danny Holland scored twice as the Shaymen reinforced their Blue Square Bet North play off potential.
James Dean and Jason St Juste were also on target at Steel Park as Town gained a modicum of revenge for their opening day defeat to Corby.
The chat before the game was how Neil Aspin’s side would cope without strikers James Walshaw and Jamie Rainford who departed at the end of loan spells.
Their names were barely mentioned in passing after the final whistle with any questions over the side’s ability to cope without the duo answered completely.
Town were always in control with the home side’s goals both coming when the Shaymen were two in front.
Victory extended Town’s winning run to five games, the same length as their current winning run on the road.
And with Guiseley and Hyde losing they are now officially the form team in the competition.
With a fair wind at his back Stephen Towers hammered in a shot after 15 seconds, the ball deflecting off Liam Hogan for the first corner of the game.
Town defended the set piece well but faced another soon after as Simon Garner was judged to have committed a foul, midfielder Leon Hibbert failing to get his header on target.
At the other end, Holland won a header to release Lee Gregory on the left but he was given nothing as he was tripped right on the edge of the Corby area.
Liam Needham twice made decent interceptions before firing in a shot from the edge of the area after Tom Baker’s long throw from the right had been cleared.
But there were too many poor passes from either side to make the opening 15 minutes of the game particularly memorable.
That all changed two minutes later as the Shaymen took the lead after Needham had again done well in midfield.
He strode forward, passed perfectly for Gregory on the right and the ball was pulled back to Holland who smashed home from inside the six-yard box.
Three minutes later Needham threaded another pass through, this time for James Dean on the left, but he sliced wide.
Home keeper Chris MacKenzie did well to punch clear under pressure from Holland as the Town man tried to get on the end of an Ashworth corner.
Holland and Dean combined well midway through the half with Needham’s decoy run allowing Gregory to create an opening, but the keeper held onto his low shot.
Corby were being pinned back, but won a 33rd minute corner from which Hibbert curled an effort narrowly wide of Simon Eastwood’s goal.
But the Shaymen were back on the attack almost immediately as Baker swapped passes with Holland before firing over from the edge of the area.
Scott McManus raided down the left seven minutes before the break and squared for Baker, but Dean and Holland got in a tangle on the edge of the Corby box.
Baker had another long range effort deflected wide after decent build up play by Danny Lowe, Gregory, Dean and Garner.
The resulting corner cause panic in the home defence but when the ball fell at Ashworth’s feet he leaned back and fired high over the bar.
The Shaymen doubled their advantage a couple of minutes before the break when Lowe thumped a free towards the edge of the home area.
The keeper decided to come and punch but did not count on Holland being there and the striker got his head to the ball which looped into the air and into the net.
Having started the first half well, Corby did the same on the resumption, but Matt Rhead’s cross was easily plucked out of the air by Eastwood and Aynsley MacDonald’s effort was cleared by Liam Hogan.
The Shaymen responded with a quick break as Holland hooked the ball on for Gregory, whose right wing cross was too far in front of Holland.
Rhead was denied by Eastwood, who got down quickly to block after the ball had bounced through to him in the box.
The game finally sparked back into life just before the hour mark when Garner’s short pass released McManus on the left but his cross was just too high for Dean.
Dean was unable to get the power he wanted on his shot soon after as he worked some space for himself on the edge of the area.
And when Needham was brought down midway inside the Corby half Baker’s low free kick landed at Gregory’s feet but he was unable to get his shot away.
Holland, looking for his hat-trick goal, sliced wide and Gregory was denied by the keeper after getting on the end of a Baker cross.
MacKenzie did even better a minute later when he saved from point blank range from Town substitute Jason St Juste.
The keeper and Holland clashed on two separate occasions and, after consulting his linesman, the referee spoke to both without the need of a card of any colour.
Having failed to add to their tally, the Shaymen’s lead was halved after 73 minutes when Lee Beeson somehow managed to squeeze the ball home from a tight angle.
But it was 3-1 to Neil Aspin’s men two minutes later when they were awarded a free kick on the left and Dean’s flicked header from Gregory’s delivery crept inside the far post.
Corby had a great chance to reduce the difference between the sides to one goal again when Sam Mullarkey went into the box, but Hogan put him under pressure and he was unable to get a shot in.
St Juste’s ball forward was collected by Dean who cheekily tried his luck from just inside the Corby half, but the keeper was alert to the situation and collected the ball on his line.
A fourth Halifax goal was not long in coming as Gregory released St Juste on the halfway line and he raced into the area before hammering the ball home.
There was a consolation for the home side with a couple of minutes remaining when Beeson crossed from the right and Jordan Smith forced the ball home from close range.
But it was never going to affect the result as Town picked up three more points on the road to close the gap on the sides ahead of them.