North Ferriby United 2 FC Halifax Town 3

Hat-trick hero Lee Gregory
Hat-trick hero Lee Gregory

In-form striker Lee Gregory rounded off an excellent pre-season with a hat-trick as Town beat North Ferriby 3-2.

Gregory scored two in two first half minutes and added a third in the second half on a windy afternoon in East Yorkshire for Town’s seventh win in eight pre-season games.

Despite Town’s win it was the hosts who began the game brightly and after failing to beat the Town offside trap on several occasions got their first shot on target in the 17th minute when Jack Muldoon shot from 25 yards, but his effort was comfortable for keeper Matt Glennon.

Ferriby continued to see lots of the ball, and it was somewhat against the run of play when Town took the lead.

After Town pinched the ball back on the half way line, it was spread out to Liam Needham, whose left foot cross found Lee Gregory in the box.

As the ball bounced, Gregory delicately lifted it over the advancing keeper for his seventh goal of pre-season.

He didn’t have to wait long for his eighth, which came just two minutes later.

After Jon Worthington was clipped on the edge of the area, Paul Marshall’s low free-kick found it’s way to Gregory who calmly turned the ball into the far corner from six yards.

But Ferriby pulled one back on 33minutes, when Danny Clarke fed Gary Bradshaw, who this time beat the offside trap and prodded beyond Glennon.

Jamie Rainford replaced Liam Needham at half time and it was the Town striker who had Town’s first chance of the second half.

After Ferriby wasted a glorious chance, Bradshaw firing straight at Glennon from six yards after a good block by Jason St Juste, Rainford was released down the left his shot was cleared off the line.

Rainford had another chance shortly afterwrds - this time his curling effort was palmed wide for a corner.

With the wind swirling round the Grange Lane ground, defenders were struggling to deal with the ball in the air, and Glennon was called into action after a long ball picked out Ryan Kendall, the Town keeping make a comfortable save.

It was from a long ball that Gregory completed his hat-trick, the striker beating the offside trap before rounding the keeper and slotting home to give Town a 3-1 lead on 65 minutes for his ninth goal of pre-season.

Gregory was replaced by Chris Worsley almost immediately, but not two minutes after his introduction Ferriby had pulled one back.

A free-kick from the right found Ferriby’s unmarked captain Paul Foot, whose header found the net to get his side back into it.

The hosts began pouring bodies forward, and Town needed two blocks in quick succession from defensive pair Liam Hogan and Conor Qualter to stop the hosts levelling.

Rainford wasted a great chance to put the game beyond doubt when he blasted a half volley over from close range and Worsley saw his header saved as Ferriby failed to deliver the grandstand finish that had looked to be on the cards.

North Ferriby United: Nicklin, Gardner, Ridley, King, Anderson, Foot, Clarke, Fry, Muldoon, Bradshaw, Kendall.

FC Halifax: Glennon, Toulson, St Juste, Jarrett, Qualter, Hogan, Worthington, Needham (Rainford, 45 mins), Marshall, Gregory (Worsley, 67 mins), Seddon (Abadaki, 60 mins).