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Ten-man Salisbury City suffer 5-1 thumping at Halifax
The Skrill Premier
FC Halifax Town 5
Salisbury City 1
A RAGGED defensive showing marked a dismal night in West Yorkshire as Lee Gregory's hat-trick led the five goal hammering to condemn ten-man Salisbury City to their heaviest defeat.
Perhaps the one-day 250mile trip to Sincil Bank, and feeling jaded from Saturday's win, played its part in City leaking five clumsy goals to fall to their ninth away loss.
The horror show began inside three minutes when they conceded one of five avoidable goals - rocketing their goals against to 41 with 26 coming on their travels.
Ryan Crowther skipped away from his marker on the wing and sent in a cross for Gregory to simply tap past Will Puddy into the unprotected Salisbury goal.
Crowther's skill and trickery tormented the visitors' defence, keeping them on the back-foot, by going close with a fizzing effort.
There wait for a second ended ten minutes later as a result of City failing to scramble clear a corner. Puddy's fists initially diverted the danger but the alert Lois Maynard reacted quickest to open up a 2-0 gap and nab a rare goal.
An improvement was required in the second half if the Wiltshire club were to take anything home. With a comeback strategy intact, Dan Fitchett nearly halved the deficit when he fired a left-footed strike towards goal, but was denied when it ricocheted off the upright.
City were left to rue that miss, as the 52nd minute saw Gregory, lingering near the goalmouth, double his tally by prodding home Crowther's saved effort to steer his side away from the leggy opposition.
If life couldn't get any worse for City, it did 18 minutes from time after Ryan Brett tripped Gregory up inside the area. Puddy got a hand to the spot kick but it still managed to force its way over the line and hand Gregory the match ball and his 22nd goal of the campaign.
Jamie White pulled one back late on for a mere consolation but that was overlooked minutes later when Theo Lewis was sent off, facing a three match ban set to take immediate effect, for pulling down Crowther, who was clean through on goal. Deep into stoppage time the rampant hosts added a fifth through Josh Wilson.
Reaction from Mikey Harris on Thursday's back-page.
Salisbury: Puddy, MacDonald, Wilson (c), Clarke (Dutton, 60), Brett, Lewis, Kamdjo (Wellard, 46), McPhee (R.Sinclair, 46), Frear, Fitchett.
Subs not used: Bittner, Feeney.
Scorer: White (78).
Sent off: Lewis (82).
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.