Tadcaster 0-5 FC Halifax Town

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FC Halifax Town cruised to victory in their first game of pre-season with a 5-0 win at Tadcaster.

Matt Pearson notched a first-half double while Scott Boden and Ross Dyer also found the net on their first appearances for the club.

The Shaymen looked comfortable throughout and could toast a successful return to action against the Brewers, who featured former Town players Andy Milne and Denny Ingram.

New signings Boden, Richard Peniket, Steve Williams and Kevin Roberts all started, as did trialist Danny Schofield.

Lois Maynard was handed the captain’s armband, but like Schofield’s appearance, it remains to be seen if that’s a one-off or a more permanent arrangement.

Tadcaster didn’t provide a particularly strenuous test as Town cruised to a 3-0 half-time lead.

Matt Pearson provided most of the moments of quality in the opening-half, especially his two goals, both of which were delightful strikes from the edge of the box.The first was a low left-foot drive after the ball was cleared to him from a corner.

His second was better though as he curled the ball teasingly away from keeper Arran Reid into the top corner with his right foot.

Sandwiched in-between was Boden’s first goal, coming reassuringly early in his Town career and in the reassuring style of a goal poacher as he tapped in Roberts’ cross from the right at the far post.

Tadcaster offered little in response other than Carl Stuart’s tame shot which was easily saved by Matt Glennon.

Of the new signings, Peniket and Boden both impressed with their footwork and running off the ball, while Williams showed why he will be such a threat from set-pieces as well as a dominant figure at the back.

Schofield offered some neat touches and good control but Pearson, Maynard and Marshall picked up where they left off from last season as they controlled the middle third, with Pearson breaking dangerously towards the Tadcaster box.

The temperatures may have started to drop at the start of the second-half but things heated up on the pitch as Williams and james Bolton were both involved in altercations with Tadcaster players.

Adam Smith provided his usual presence on the right after the interval and from one of his crosses, Dyer was perfectly placed to nod in from close range.

Halifax weren’t quite as fluent after the break, although Smith’s constant running down the right was probably enough for the Tadcaster left-back wish he’d stayed in to watch Holland v Argentina.

Paul Marshall, namesake of the Tadcaster boss, came close to scoring a birthday goal but saw one shot blocked on the line and another saved.

Dominic Marie probably should have added a fifth after latching onto a through ball but he lifted his shot wide when clean through.

Dyer added his second after good work from Smith and Josh Wilson as chances gradually became rarer as the game wore on.

But the Town fans could sup a pint from the local brewery safe in the knowledge their side’s pre-season campaign had got off to the perfect start.

Halifax: First-half - Glennon, K Roberts, McManus, Williams, Ainge, Pearson, Maynard, Marshall, Boden, Peniket, Schofield. Second-half - Senior, Bolton, M Roberts, Williams, K Roberts, Wilson, Marshall, Smith, Schofield, Dyer, Marie.

Scorers: Pearson (16, 38), Boden (31), Dyer (57, 76)

Shots on target: 9

Shots off target: 9

Corners: 6

Town man of the match: Matt Pearson