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Halifax 5 Worcester City 0
WORCESTER City were given a football lesson as their play-off dream went up in smoke at The Shay.
From start to finish, the men from St George’s Lane were comprehensively outplayed in brutal fashion by a team with promotion firmly in their sights.
While Halifax marched on towards cementing their place in the top five, Worcester were left licking their wounds after a fourth successive defeat.
They are enduring their worst spell of the season and as far as their play-off hopes go, the fat lady might not have sung but she is certainly clearing her throat in the wings.
To gate crash the end of season party now would take little short of a miracle given the ground they have to make up and the teams around them capitalising on games in hand.
Halifax have certainly done that and four goals from Lee Gregory underlined their dominance in stretching an unbeaten run to eight matches.
The hosts were as excellent as Worcester were poor and this display was certainly one for Carl Heeley’s side to file under ones to forget.
The match was so one sided that Halifax keeper Matt Glennon had nothing to do except block from Tom Thorley and gather Danny Glover’s 40-yard daisy-cutter.
Neil Aspin’s team, missing former Worcester striker Gareth Seddon through illness, might also have scored more, after hitting the woodwork twice and forcing Glyn Thompson into several saves.
Nothing the visitors tried worked and that it took until stoppage-time at the end to force a corner summed up their day.
As if all that wasn’t bad enough, they picked up a catalogue of injuries to seriously hamper any rise from their slumber.
Top of the list was Mike Symons who suffered suspected ankle ligament damage in the first-half, while Danny Edwards also left on crutches following a crunching challenge.
Stuart Whitehead was another casualty, the skipper hobbling off late on to leave his side with 10 men as all three subs had been deployed.
City, who have conceded 12 goals in their last four games, persisted with a 4-3-3 system but were soon forced to revert to 4-4-2 when Symons left.
Yet with either set-up they were over-run and outclassed in West Yorkshire.
In Dan Gardner, Halifax had the league’s player-of-the-month, who never gave City a moment’s peace, while Gregory punished Worcester mercilessly.
Yes, he profited from a couple of favourable bounces but he took his goals well, particularly the last when rising to nod Liam Needham’s floated cross past Thompson.
City have come up against some good sides this season and Halifax are as good as any of them.
It is important now that they learn from this or their season could just fizzle out.