FC Halifax Town 6 Abbey Hey 0
Town booked their expected place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup after seeing off the challenge from a game yet ultimately well-beaten Abbey Hey side at the Shay.
Neil Aspin’s side took their time before hitting top gear, and two goals just before the break finally unlocked a very stubborn door.
A third straight from the restart was always going to be too much for the visitors to recover from, and Town’s extra fitness also told as they ran in a further three goals before the final whistle.
Jon Worthington and Dale Johnson both scored twice with Lee Gregory and Chris Worsley also on target.
Aspin gave the opponents every respect by naming just one change from the previous game while also hoping to avoid a potential giant-killing.
Jason St Juste’s pace earned Town the first corner after three minutes and Danny Lowe received the ball just inside the area, went past his man on the outside but curled his effort onto the roof of the net.
Three minutes later Paul Marshall fired in a corner from the opposite side but Phil Bolland’s effort came back off the crossbar.
However, Town were immediately given notice of the away side’s threat when Martin Pilkington slipped clear but lifted his shot over both Matt Glennon and the crossbar.
Town continued to flex their muscles and Johnson was denied the chance to get on the end of Gregory’s driven cross by a fine last ditch intervention.
Town were making the running and twice Marshall tried his luck but was denied by a defender and then keeper Jonathan McIlwaine.
Abbey Hey forced their first corner midway through the half but Pilkington’s header was meat and drink for Glennon.
Almost immediately Town went close to breaking the deadlock when Worsley, Ryan Toulson and Gregory combined to set up Johnson, but he was thwarted brilliantly by the keeper from point blank range.
Abbey Hey’s long ball game occassionally threatened problems but Pilkington, who was a useful oulet for the visitors, was unable to capitalise on the half hour with Town’s central defence equal to the task.
The Shaymen clearly had the better of their lower-ranked opponents but could not force the vital breakthrough. That in turn led to a degree of restlesness and frustration in the East Stand.
However, that frustration turned to disbelief as five minutes before the break Gregory was presented with a clear sight of goal with just the keeper to beat but he blazed his shot high over the bar.
The good news was that proved only a sighter as minutes later the striker finally ended the stalemate, latching onto a long ball to lift the ball over McIlwaine in one sweet movement.
That was just what the doctor orderd and Worsley slid the ball home barely a minute later to settle everybody’s nerves at half-time.
Town enjoyed the perfect start to the second period when, after just two minutes, Ryan Toulson swung over a cross, the defender mis-kicked and Worthington drilled the ball in low at the keeper’s near post.
A rare chance for the visitors saw Jon Hardy scuff harmlessly wide before they had a major let off when Phil Bolland’s effort following a bout of pinball from a corner, was cleared off the line by Alex Byrne.
Substitute Scott McManus then drilled the ball across the box but neither Johnson nor Worthington were able to capitalise and Abbey Hey smuggled the ball away.
Abbey Hey did manage to break the shackles long enough for Hardy to fire straight at Glennon but Town moved the ball to the other end and Johnson coolly stroked the ball home for 4-0.
That soon became five as an incisive move ended with Worthington screaming for the ball from Johnson as he steamed into the box before placing his shot into the top corner.
Abbey Hey continued to try and play and Darren Morris fired over but they were hit for six when Johnson curled the ball home expertly from the corner of the area.
FC Halifax Town: Glennon, Toulson, St Juste, Bolland, Jarrett, Lowe, Worsley, Marshall, Johnson, Gregory, Worthington. Subs: Senoor, Hackney, Qualter, Mcmanus
Abbey Hey: McIlwaine, Byrne, Hewitt, Finigan, Borrell, Gibson, Murray, Westmerland, Harney, Pilkington, Hardy. Subs: Jones, Smith, Morris, O’Connor, Sunderland, Heywood, Eley.