Alex Johnson returned to The Shay and ended Halifax’s unbeaten home record with a goal just before the break that capped a superb team performance by the Lions as Mark Bower’s men moved into the Second Round of the FA Trophy.
The first fifteen minutes proved to be very even, Danny Forrest having a shot charged down by two home defenders before former Guiseley striker Kevin Holsgrove pulled one well wide after creating space for himself on the edge of the area.
Wayne Brooksby and Johnson combined well but the latter’s shot was straight at Matt Glennon before former Nethermoor favourite Josh Wilson drove a free kick wide of the target.
Johnson then got the better of Joe Ironside on the left flank, but his ball across the six-yard box found no takers.
Steve Drench made a timely intervention to take Adam Smith’s cross off Archie Love’s head.
When Johnson was fouled by ex-Lions defender Simon Ainge, Wayne Brooksby put the free kick just the wrong side of the upright before the Lions got the reward that their positive approach richly deserved on the stroke of half-time. Johnson cut in from the right and looped a shot, which took a slight deflection off a defender, over Glennon.
Stung by this setback, Halifax manager Neil Aspin substituted the ineffective Holsgrove with Dan Gardner on the restart. Not that it made much difference as the Lions continued where they had left off in the first half, Rhys Meynell’s effort nearly doubling the visitors’ advantage.
Johnson should perhaps have sewn the game up shortly afterwards but he hit his half-volley straight at Glennon.
Substitute Craig Hobson came close to grabbing the second, but his shot cannoned off the foot of the upright with Glennon clawing at fresh air and defender Adam Lockwood went close with a glancing header.
Although Jon Worthington hit the bar for the home side deep into injury time, there was no denying the fact that the Lions had deservedly succeeded where eleven Conference Premier sides have failed – in beating the Shaymen at The Shay.
View Alex Johnson’s goal here.
5- Adam Lockwood
9-Alex Johnson 45 (Hobson, 75)