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Harrogate Town: We Were Exceptional

Posted: Tue 18 Apr 2017
Author: Ben Armitage

Billy Heath was understandably delighted at his side’s display in the bank holiday game against Harrogate Town.

The Shaymen produced a sublime performance to help ease the woes of their defeat to league leaders AFC Fylde just days earlier. Both Dion Charles and Matty Kosylo were the stand-out performers as it was their goals that sealed a 3-0 victory in the most vital part of the season.

The win means that Town stay third in the race for a play-off spot, now with only two games to go until the opponents are finalised. After the game, Heath had nothing but praise to give his side for their efforts on the pitch.  

“I thought the first half was absolutely fantastic. We controlled the game for all the first half, we didn’t look like conceding at any point and played some good stuff… No disrespect to Harrogate but the half time and final score should have been a lot more.

“Second half, when they came out, they had a little bit more of the ball and put us under a bit more pressure. You are going to get that, you can’t dominate the full game but I was pleased with the third goal and, like I say, we should have had a few more.

“(The first goal) is important in every game, it just settles everybody down because there is a lot of pressure but the players have handled it in the two games over the Easter period fantastically. We know we should have got something out of Fylde but today was massively important to bounce back and we were exceptional”.

Going into the game, Heath was forced into a few changes following injuries sustained by Cliff Moyo and Josh MacDonald. Despite this change, and that of the 3G pitch, Town showed no signs of discomfort, something that impressed Heath the most.

“What was pleasing today was the way the players dealt with the two changes again, forced on us because it seems to be a recurring theme from day one of the season…

“It is not coincidence that when we play on this surface we leave Denton on the bench. We played Peniket for his strength, movement and pace so it is horses for courses. We played with two out-and-out wide men today, both were excellent. Jordan Sinnott was fantastic with his range of passes and his choices, then backed up with Liam King and Lynch”.

The praise is seeming to work its way into every sentence for the Shaymen, and rightly so. The whole squad effectively did their jobs correctly, but the desire showed by some stands out the most for Heath.  

“Liam (King) virtually played the full game… we are at the business end of the season and he wants to play. He probably should have left it until next Saturday but he wanted to play and that’s what you need at this stage of the season”.

With the win, the quality of the squad along with the return of fan favourite Scott McManus, Town are certainly in an outstanding position as the play-off competition draws closer.

The season seems to have flown by, now having only two games left until the curtain comes down on 2016/17. For Heath and the lads, three points should be all that’s needed to secure a spot in this year’s play-offs, and Heath has called for those points to be won as soon as possible.

“I think we will only need to win once because of the Darlington situation. If we win on Saturday then that will be it. It will be nice if we make sure we can do that, then we can alleviate any pressures going into the last game of the season. That will be enough”.  

You can watch the full interview with Heath along with post-match reaction from Kevin Roberts and McManus on Shaymen Player HD.