FC Halifax Town 2-1 Chester

FC Halifax Town v Chester at The Shay Stadium, Halifax.
FC Halifax Town v Chester at The Shay Stadium, Halifax.

FC Halifax Town extended their unbeaten home start to seven games with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Chester.

Marc Roberts’ first goal for the Shaymen sealed the victory after Lee Gregory’s opener had been cancelled out by former Town striker Gareth Seddon.

Town have been able to rely on the comforts of home so far this season, but were made to work hard for their return to winning ways as Chester belied their place in the relegation zone to make the hosts sweat for their sixth win at the Shay.

Josh Wilson replaced Danny Lowe in Town’s only change from the side that started the 2-0 defeat at Kidderminster on Tuesday, with Gregory taking over the captain’s armband.

And he led by example by helping Town to a very early lead less than five minutes in when he bundled the ball just over the line after Simon Ainge’s nod down from a corner for his first goal since opening the scoring at Macclesfield a month ago.

Town then nearly threw away their good early work when Scott McManus, returning to left-back after his stint on the wing, lost the ball to former team-mate Titchiner, who played in Seddon, but Matt Glennon produced a fine save to deny the striker, much to the delight of the home supporters.

But the visitors were buoyed by that opening and drew level shortly afterwards from a corner when Glennon seemed to lose Danny Higginbotham’s header in the sunlight before Seddon got the final touch to nod it in near the goal-line.

Glennon was then back to his very best to deny Craig Lindfield twice in quick succession with a double save at his near post after the lively Titchiner’s cross.

The curse of the ex-player was wrought by Titchiner as much as Seddon, with the former Town loanee’s characteristic work-rate hardly giving Marc Roberts and Ainge a moment’s peace, while Seddon linked up with his strike partner effectively, finding pockets of space in front of the back four.

Town were forced to play second fiddle for a while as Chester sought an unlikely lead but could have grabbed the advantage back just before the interval when Wilson slipped Gregory through, only for skipper George Horan to block his shot.

Neil Aspin responded to his side’s first-half showing by bringing on Paul Marshall and John McReady at the interval but the game descended into a scrappy affair after the restart with a few niggly fouls creeping in and preventing either side from building up a head of steam.

But Town suddenly burst back into life midway through the second-half when Gregory executed a delightful turn and shot just outside the box, forcing John Danby into an equally impressive save.

From the resulting corner, Roberts rose highest to head the ball back across goal and restore the hosts’ lead.

Chester looked a spent force once Town’s second goal went in, with Lewis Turner firing a half chance over the bar following more good work from Titchiner.

Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, Ainge, Roberts, McManus, Smith, Pearson, Maynard (Marshall 46), Wilson (McReady 46), Gardner (Carver 77), Gregory. Subs not used: Senior, Lowe.

Scorers: Gregory (4), Roberts (64)

Shots on target: 4

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 3

Chester: Danby, Kay, Heath, Horan (Linwood 57), Harrison, Lindfield (Mahon 73), L Turner, N Turner, Higginbotham, Seddon (Mills 67), Titchiner. Subs not used: Chippendale, Jarrett.

Scorers: Seddon (18)

Shots on target: 7

Shots off target: 8

Corners: 5

Attendance: 1,805

Town man of the match: Marc Roberts