FC Halifax Town 4-0 Aldershot

The Shay
The Shay

FC Halifax Town’s prolific home form goes on after they made it 11 games unbeaten at the Shay with a 4-0 win over Aldershot.

The Shaymen bagged four goals on their own patch for the second time in five days and made it 11 without reply at home to boot.

Lee Gregory was the star of the show as he scored one and set-up two of the others, taking his tally for the season to 13 - already reaching half of his total from last term.

The two sides came into the game with contrasting fortunes; Town beating Hyde 4-0 and Aldershot losing at Cambridge by the same score in midweek.

After one win from their last 10 games, Aldershot’s paper thin confidence will have been shorn of another layer or two here.

Town were simply too good for the visitors when in full flow as Andy Scott’s side became the latest victims of the Shaymen’s red-hot home form.

Neil Aspin produced something of a pre-match surprise by leaving Dan Gardner out of the matchday squad entirely, and reverted to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 system with Josh Wilson supporting Gregory in attack and Adam Smith returning in place of Joe Ironside.

With Bradford City hosting Coventry on Sunday, Phil Parkinson took the chance, presumably, to get a closer look at Gregory from the stands.

And he’ll have liked what he saw when the top-scorer added to his collection as he showed tremendous strength to hold off a challenge before prodding past John Henley when Marc Roberts’ long throw fell to him in the box.

Before that, he’d produced a cushioned pass out wide for Smith, whose shot was tipped behind.

As if sensing the admiring glances from Parkinson and probably others, the Town fans vocalised their appreciation of the in-form striker practically non-stop until he turned provider for Smith, his travelling companion to games and former Mansfield team-mate.

Gregory shaped to shoot as he bore down menacingly on goal before showing excellent awareness to pick out Smith, who lashed the ball home left-footed.

Aldershot had looked fairly creative before Gregory’s opener, but 2-0 suddenly seemed an equally long way back as their return journey south.

There was even the odd chant of ‘Gregory for England’ - which might not be such a bad idea after their performance against Chile the night before.

The improvements to Gregory’s all-round game were emphasised in Town’s third as he exchanged passes with Wilson on the edge of the box before deftly picking out McManus, who fired unnervingly across Henley.

It should have been even better for Town but Simon Ainge missed his kick when the ball fell to him unmarked five yards out.

The performance was starting to reach the dizzy heights of the thrashing of Grimsby two months ago, so it was a shame when the half-time whistle intervened.

Gregory answered calls for a quick wave to the South Stand shortly after the restart and did so again after being replaced by Joe Ironside just before the hour mark after a fine afternoon’s work.

As is sometimes the case, the second-half failed to produce the same scintillating attacking play as the first.

Aldershot were a beaten side long before Gregory’s departure, but Roberts climbed highest to put the seal on it as he headed in Wilson’s brilliantly delivered free-kick.

Halifax: Glennon, Pearson, Ainge, Roberts, Lowe, Smith (Holsgrove 80), Maynard, Marshall (Love 68), Wilson, McManus, Gregory (Ironside 58). Subs not used: Senior, Worthington.

Scorers: Gregory (18), Smith (27), McManus (41), Roberts (71)

Shots on target: 8

Shots off target: 0

Corners: 3

Aldershot: Henley, Stanley, Webster, Barker, Butler, Gibbs, Oyeleke, Patterson, Williams, Mekki (Young 60), Rowlands (Tonkin 78). Subs not used: Roberts, Douglas, Williams.

Shots on target: 1

Shots off target: 2

Corners: 2

Attendance: 1,418

Town man of the match: Lee Gregory