Shaymen's nightmare start to the season continues after thrashing by Notts County

Halifax v Notts CountyHalifax v Notts County
Halifax v Notts County
FC Halifax Town's nightmare start to the season continued after they were beaten 4-1 at home by Notts County.

Two goals by Macaulay Langstaff and one each from Cedwyn Scott and Kairo Mitchell condemned a beleaguered Halifax to their fourth defeat from five and kept them bottom of the table.

The only positive was Halifax finally scoring for the first time this season, through Harvey Gilmour.

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Town are a pale imitation of the team that mixed it with the big boys of the National League last season.

Their early season slump is turning into a depression.

Alarm bells are ringing at The Shay.

The talked of promotion bid looks a long way off. A relegation battle looks more likely at this rate.

Tylor Golden, Rob Harker and Kian Spence all came into the Town side from the one that started at Wealdstone, and Town also began in the 3-5-2 system they finished in last Saturday.

Also as against Wealdstone, Spence was most influential, twice nicking the ball inside the County half and prompting attacks.

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He also found Dieseruvwe with a drilled pass across field. How Halifax had missed him.

Jesse Debrah was at his commanding best at the back too.

Town's change of shape meant there was more support for Mani Dierseruvwe, although he was out of sorts, and more bodies higher up the pitch, while they also looked more solid at the back with an extra central defender.

There was more bite and purpose about The Shaymen, who were better than a week ago, although that wasn't saying much, while they still went sideways and backwards too often for some of the home fans' liking.

Spence added the quality in midfield Town had been lacking so far this season, reading the game so well, anticipating danger, alert to possibilities.

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Both sides were playing three at the back and, as a result, cancelling the other out to a large degree.

And neither side had much of a cutting edge in attack. Apart from appealing for a free kick on the edge of the Halifax box and incurring the wrath of Chris Millington, the visitors and their dangerman Langstaff had been kept quiet.

That was until Adam Chicksen got past Golden too easily on the left, before Sam Austin's cross from the left was tapped in by Langstaff at the far post, leaving Town to query whether it was offside in vein.

Gilmour nearly equalised straight away with a volley from a left-wing cross but Sam Slocombe tipped it behind.

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But just before half-time, the scale of Town's task was doubled when a cross from the right was nodded in by Scott at the near post.

The visitors had two chances all half and took them. Halifax had the ball in good attacking areas but didn't produce anything. That was the difference.

A two-goal deficit was harsh on Halifax. Although they'd recovered from it before in this fixture, doing so again looked an onerous challenge.

The Shaymen at least came out fighting in the second-half, and should have capped a strong first five minutes with a goal when debutant Angelo Capello's cross was put wide by Dierseruvwe from close range under pressure at the near post.

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The next goal was crucial, and County got it when, after the hosts conceded possession, Langstaff latched onto a through ball, took it round Sam Johnson and finished coolly, displaying the kind of goalscoring prowess Halifax can only dream of.

The goal came just as Town reached seven hours without a goal since the start of the season.

New signing Osayamen Osawe was brought on, but all hope was lost. The contest was over.

Town were disjointed and dispirited. The fans were disconsolate, and angered when Dierseruvwe scuppered a chance to shoot on the edge of the box by losing control of the ball, encapsulating his day and his team's.

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The long-awaited goal finally, finally arrived through Gilmour's volley after Spence's shot was blocked.

But even then, there was worse to come when a misplaced pass handed possession to sub Mitchell, who finished low past Johnson.

Halifax: Johnson, Keane, Clarke, Debrah, Golden, Summerfield (Osawe 65), Gilmour, Spence, Senior, Harker (Capello 46), Dierseruvwe (Slew 79). Subs not used: Hunter, Alli.

Scorer: Gilmour (83)

Shots on target: 3

Shots off target: 4

Corners: 4

Notts County: Slocombe, Brindley, Baldwin, Cameron, Nemane (Adebayo-Rowling 68), O'Brien, Palmer, Chicksen, Austin, Scott (Bajrami 61), Langstaff (Mitchell 72). Subs: Francis, Munakadafa.

Scorers: Langstaff (42, 60), Scott (45). Mitchell (87)

Shots on target: 5

Shots off target: 2

Corners: 6

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Attendance: 2,317

Town man of the match: Kian Spence. How Town have missed him so far this season, such a talent. Halifax could have done with a few more Kian Spence's out there too though.