Debutant Danny Hattersley struck twice to inspire FC Halifax Town to a thumping 5-0 victory against strugglers AFC Telford on Saturday afternoon.
Two goals in four first half minutes put the Shaymen in control, with Adam Smith firing the home side ahead with a spectacular volley before Hattersley – who only joined yesterday from Southport - headed home from a Smith cross.
Second half strikes from Scott Boden, Paul Marshall and a second for Hattersley cemented the victory which sees Neal Aspin’s side climb to third place in the Vanarama Conference and continue their unbeaten home run.
With both sides striving for maximum points, albeit in very different circumstances, it was a frantic opening to proceedings at the Shay.
It was the visitors who were first to threaten but Mike Phenix saw his cross-shot clawed away by Matt Glennon, before the Shaymen stopper reacted quickly to push Tony Gray’s rebound aside.
At the other end Smith outpaced the Telford backline, latching onto a loose ball, but with time and space the winger dallied and his tame effort was blocked.
With little time to catch a breather, Telford pushed forward once again but Adam Farrell’s stinging drive flew just inches wide of Glennon’s right-hand post.
A brief moment of respite then hit the game as Aspin’s side looked to find their momentum and with 12 minutes on the clock they found it and in some style.
A corner into the Telford penalty area was not dealt with by the Bucks’ defence and they were made to pay as the ball fell kindly for Smith who unleashed a ferocious first time volley into the top left-hand corner.
With Smith now a constant thorn in the Telford back-line, the tricky wideman beat his marker before delivering an inch-perfect cross to the back post which new signing Hattersley met with a thunderous header to double the home side’s advantage.
Just moments later and the home faithful were nearly on their feet for a third time in five minutes but this time Boden’s flicked header from Marshall’s free-kick landed on the roof of the net.
Without a win all season the visitors struggled to muster any serious threat on the Halifax goal, with captain Steve Akrigg’s towering header comfortably palmed over his own crossbar by Glennon.
Knocks to Hattersley and Kevin Roberts slowed the tempo as the first half reached its final stages, but there was still time for Hattersley to clip an effort wide and stand-in skipper Marc Roberts to head narrowly over as the Shaymen were made to settle for two at the break.
The second half began in complete contrast to the first with both sides failing to create any meaningful efforts on goal.
It took 10 minutes for the first goalmouth action following the restart, as Telford midfielder Josh O’Keefe headed Marshall’s free-kick over his own crossbar.
From the resulting set-piece the ball landed at the feet of Richard Peniket but despite being just yards from goal former Halifax ‘keeper Jonathan Hedge made himself big and superbly blocked the striker’s goalbound effort.
With an hour on the clock the visitors began to up their game with debutant Ryan Higgins seeing his low cross blocked, before Akrigg nodded over from a dangerous free-kick.
After failing to make the Shaymen pay, Aspin’s side came back strongly and with a quarter of the game still to play they added to their lead.
Following a poorly cleared corner the ball fell to captain Roberts and the defender’s low shot was diverted into the back of the net by Boden’s outstretched leg.
That goal only seemed to energise the Shaymen and Hattersley was prevented a second on his first outing for the club by Godfrey Poku’s goalline clearance, before Hedge made another miraculous save to palm Boden’s header around the post.
With the pressure still relentless Boden then saw his header crash off the underneath of the crossbar, but the home side were not to be denied a fourth.
Midfielder Marshall collected the ball 20 yards from goal before unleashing a swerving low drive which squirmed between the hands of Hedge and into the bottom right corner.
Ridden of all confidence the away side could only dream of the final whistle but they had to endure yet more misery as Hattersley tapped in Scott McManus’s pacey cross to grab his second and complete the rout.
FC Halifax: Glennon; K Roberts, M Roberts (c), Williams, McManus; Smith (Ainge 73’), Pearson (Hibbs 90’), Marshall, Peniket (Schofield 63’); Hattersley, Boden.
Subs not used: Senior, Worthington
AFC Telford: Hedge; Higgins, Byrne, Akrigg (c), McDonald; O’Keefe, Poku, Clancy (Grogan 46’); Grey, Farrell, Phenix.
Subs not used: Pryce, Todd, Platt, Barnett
Referee: R Martin