Five-star Shaymen run riot

Whitby Town 1

FC Halifax Town 5

Three goals in a 13-minute spell late in the first half set Town on the road to a comfortable win on the east coast.

Lee Gregory, Danny Holland, whose strike was the 100th for the Shaymen in the league, and Scott Phelan were the men on target.

And from that spell onwards the result was never going to be in doubt as second half goals from Tom Baker and Phelan ensured Town replicated the win in the game between the sides at the Shay earlier in the campaign.

Neil Aspin made two changes to the side that clinched the title at the weekend with Aaron Hardy and Steve Woods coming into the side for Jamie Vardy and Simon Garner.

And that meant a change of formation with Hardy and Danny Lowe operating as wing backs.

Andy Campbell almost broke free inside the opening 30 seconds but was, as he was so often as a Shayman, flagged offside

Moments later, Ibrahim Hassan got on the end of a free kick - won by Campbell - but sent his header into Jonathan Hedge’s arms.

Hedge was almost deceived by a Jimmy Beadle shot that bounced just in front of him before Town’s first attack initiated by Lee Gregory after nine minutes.

He played a neat pass in for Lowe who squared to Tom Baker, but the defence closed him down and the shot was blocked.

Woods was showing up well in his role of the more defensive minded of the midfield three, making a couple of important clearances as the home side probed.

They struck the woodwork when Kevin Burgess headed a Chris Batchelor free kick against a post, but he was offside, as was Tony Hackworth moments later.

Town forced their first corner of the game after 20 minutes, but they were unable to make anything of it.

The visitors almost capitalised on some hesitant keeping from Dave Campbell, who delayed a clearance so long that Danny Holland almost nicked the ball off him.

And a minute later Woods played a neat pass through for Gregory, but the keeper redeemed himself to save.

Town eventually broke through in the 27th minute when Holland pounced after Leon Scott slipped on the Whitby left and he passed square for Gregory who fired home from six yards.

And they doubled their advantage seven minutes later from a Baker free kick on the right that reached the unmarked Holland at the far post and he headed home.

The Shaymen added a third five minutes before the break when Baker did well to retrieve the ball on the by-line and pulled it back for Scott Phelan who fired home.

The shell-shocked hosts almost pulled one back immediately when Hackworth curled an effort just over the angle of post and bar.

And a minute before the break Ash Lyth played a great ball in for Beadle who was inches away from connecting.

Holland produced one of his tricks early in the second half to send Phelan away down the right hand side.

And the striker’s stunning cross field pass created a 55th minute opening for Lowe whose right-footed effort was beaten away by the keeper.

The rebound was collected by Gregory who will have been relieved to have seen the flag raised after he blazed the ball over a gaping goal

The home side pulled a goal back on the hour after Beadle exchanged passes with Hackworth before side footing home from the edge of the area.

Whitby’s joy was short-lived as Lyth took Baker’s legs in the area and the midfielder sent the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Gregory felt he should have had a penalty two minutes later when he went down under pressure from a defender having collected an Aaron Hardy pass, but the referee was not interested.

Scott Hogan replaced Holland and almost created a 74th minute opening for Phelan who latched onto a through ball only to be thwarted by the keeper.

Gregory might have bagged Town’s fifth with a little over 10 minutes remaining when he blocked a Dave Campbell clearance.

Another fine Baker free kick might have led to a goal, Andrew Milne narrowly failing to get a touch after throwing himself at the ball on the edge of the six yard box.

The fifth finally arrived with five minutes remaining when Gregory got free down the right and crossed low for Phelan who bagged his second from close range.

The midfielder went close to completing his hat-trick with two minutes remaining, latching onto a Scott Hogan pass before firing into the side netting.