FC HALIFAX TOWN started the New Year with a heavy defeat as they lost 4-1 at home to Macclesfield.
Mitch Hancox scored either side of half-time to put Macclesfield in command, before Scott Wilson added a third on the hour mark.
Substitute George Waring briefly reduced the gap, but Hancox scored from the penalty spot to complete his hat-trick.
After half-an-hour of mostly Macclesfield possession, Connor Oliver spurned a glorious chance when he nodded over unmarked from inside the six-yard box from Jake Hibbs’s cross.
Then, on the brink of half-time, Ryan Lloyd’s exquisite through ball from the left flank released Hancox, who ran clear despite protestations of offside and slotted the ball past Sam Johnson.
Chasing the game against the league leaders 48 hours after a trip to Dover was tough enough, but the mountain got bigger just after the restart when a superb through ball played in Danny Whitehead, and his cross was tapped in by Hancox.
Whitehead was given too much time outside the box to size up a shot, which Johnson could only parry and Wilson was well-placed to rifle the rebound high into the net.
Waring got one back 10 minutes later with a nice turn and shot inside the box, finishing neatly across goal.
But, two minutes later, Hancox scored from the spot after Macclesfield were awarded a penalty. Town were then given a penalty for a foul on Josh Macdonald, but Ben Tomlinson blazed his effort over the bar from 12 yards.
FC Halifax Town: Johnson, Moyo, Garner, Wilde, Macdonald, Hibbs, Collins, Oliver, Charles (Morgan 79), Tomlinson (Khan 90), Denton (Waring 51). Subs not used: Nicholson, Barrows.
Macclesfield Town: Ramsbottom, Fitzpatrick, Lowe, Pilkington, Wilson (Marsh 74), Lloyd (Arthur 82), Kennedy, Hancox, Whitehead (Durrell 79), Burgess, Baba. Subs not used: Richards, Whitaker.
Referee: Peter Wright