FC Halifax Town 4-0 Tamworth

editorial image

Richard Peniket scored his first goals of the season as FC Halifax Town thrashed Tamworth 4-0 at The Shay to remain top of the National League North.

The game was over at half-time when Town led 3-0 thanks to goals from Danny Hone, Peniket and Jordan Sinnott, with Peniket netting again after the restart to make it 13 goals in five matches for Halifax.

There was no new face in the Shaymen squad after all, with the recovery powers of Hone and Josh Wilde, who both shook off injuries to start, perhaps lessening the urgency of a new defensive addition.

As it turned out, Billy Heath could have fielded a couple of mannequins in the back-four and still got the same result.

Some excellent football peppered Town’s start - their best since the opening day win at Nuneaton - with Matty Kosylo, making his first start, on the left and Josh Macdonald on the right wasting no time in getting the beating of both Tamworth full-backs.

Peniket should have at least tested keeper James Belshaw from Sinnott’s low corner, but scuffed his shot six yards out.

More composure there or on another couple of occasions, and Town would have been ahead.

Sinnott, picking up where he left off at Stockport on Tuesday, rifled in a superb 25 yard volley which Belshaw parried away at full-stretch.

Defensively, Scott Garner had attacked every high ball in his vicinity like a bull attacks a red rag in a typically uncompromising display, with Kevin Roberts a model of defensive stability to his right.

From a free-kick 40 yards out, Roberts took it short and got it back, changing the angle of his flighted cross, from which Hone produced a header Garner would have been proud of as he directed the ball over and across Belshaw into the far corner.

Tamworth boss Andy Morrell, who scored a late winner against Telford a week ago, must have been considering bringing himself off the bench at half-time as he watched his team offer barely anything in response.

By the time Peniket put Town 2-0 up, it looked too late anyway; the Lambs already being put to the slaughter.

The ease with which Halifax doubled their lead won’t have escaped Morrell’s notice, as Sinnott’s long-throw was headed on deftly by Denton and Peniket nodded the ball past Belshaw into the same corner Hone had 10 minutes earlier.

Denton was again the provider minutes later with a cushioned header into the path of Sinnott, who swept the ball low beyond the reach of the beleaguered Belshaw.

Peniket could have added a fourth before the interval after being sent clear by Macdonald, but fired over left-footed from an angle.

Tamowrth lost 5-0 at the Shay last season in the FA Trophy, and looked well on the way to a repeat performance.

Garner’s header hit the top of the bar on its way over just after half-time, as Town continued to outclass their opponents, exemplified when Kosylo knocked the ball past left-back Anthony Breslin and ran round him the other way before his low cross evaded a touch in the middle.

If Town were on course for their best performance of the season so far, Tamworth were in the running with Worcester for Halifax’s worst opposition, not helped by their consistent inability to retain possession for any meaningful length of time.

Peniket got his second and Halifax’s fourth when he was well-placed to tap-in after Denton’s close-range volley was parried into his path by Belshaw.

Shortly after that, Jed Davies produced Tamworth’s first effort on target after an hour.

The visitors were verging on shambolic in defence as they suddenly launched into a pale imitation of a Pep Guardiola team, repeatedly attempting to play it out from the back but only succeeding in almost gifting possession to The Shaymen inside the own half.

Peniket was denied a hat-trick by a superb save by Belshaw, partly redeeming himself for his own pale imitation of Manuel Neuer, before Garner headed just wide from the resulting corner.

The onslaught continued when Sinnott’s free-kick clipped the top of the bar after Denton caught Belshaw in possession way out of his area, and the keeper fouled the Town striker.

A highly satisfying afternoon for Heath culminated in a long-awaited debut for captain Liam King, who replaced Jake Hibbs late on.

The only thing missing was a Denton goal, which he was denied in the 87th minute by a flying save from his diving header after a sensational Sinnott pass had released substitute Connor Hughes down the left.

Halifax: Drench, Hibbs (King 83), Garner, Hone, Wilde, Macdonald, Roberts, Kosylo (Hughes 73), Sinnott, Peniket (Burrow 75), Denton. Subs not used: Nicholson, Baldwin.

Scorers: Hone (25), Peniket (36, 58), Sinnott (40)

Shots on target: 6

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 5

Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Breslin, Deeney (Smith 61), Tomassen, Lane, Mills, Clarke, Newton, Briscoe (Taylor 61), Davies. Subs not used: Ezewele, Dyer, Morrell.

Shots on target: 2

Shots off target: 3

Corners: 5

Attendance: 1,597

Town man of the match: Jordan Sinnott

Referee: Billy Khatib