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Harrogate Town: A Good Performance

Posted: Tue 18 Apr 2017
Author: Philip Duff

Kevin Roberts Views......

FC Halifax Town are potentially just a win away from securing a place in the National League North playoffs after a convincing 3-0 win over Harrogate Town. A bumper Shaymen following attended the game at Wetherby Road where a goal from Dion Charles and two more from Matty Kosylo helped the visitors claim the three points.

The Sulphurites never troubled Sam Johnson, mainly down to the fantastic work from the Halifax defence. The Halifax attack was just as strong, constantly testing Peter Crook in the home net, and probably should have bagged more than three goals.

We spoke to Kevin Roberts after the game…

“I thought it was a great performance to be honest. Defensively, the only times they really troubled us was probably from getting balls in the box, but we defended the second ball well. With the size of the team they’ve got it’s difficult to get a good clearance on your first header or a kick away, but we managed to deal with the second ball well. Everyone covered each other and then we hit them on the counter attack very well a few times. Even off a few of their set-pieces, we ended up going up the other end and nearly scoring ourselves, so a good performance.”

Another day and the score line could have been even more favourable to Halifax who are currently 3rd in the league with 74 points. It was chances galore for the Shaymen and Kevin thinks the visiting side should have upped their tally against Harrogate…

“We can’t really argue with the attackers scoring three goals, but if they wanted to, they could have had a few more themselves, it could have been 5 or 6 in my opinion. Just a bit of decision-making, especially the Dion one, who’s had a great game today. He could have squared it to, I think it was Clarke in the box, an open goal. That would have been 4 and we’ve had other chances as well. We did get lucky ourselves when the ball hit the crossbar, but especially after the Fylde game last week, where I thought we deserved more out of it, I think the luck’s gone our way today”

The win means Halifax are five points off 7th place with just two games remaining in the season. Kevin knows how vital the win is and how much it could mean for the small remainder of the season…

“We needed three points. It’s nice to have a good performance, but I wouldn’t have been bothered if it was a scrappy 1-0 and we were awful. We just needed the three points today and that’s what we got, that’s all it is at the end of the day.”

To make things even better for the Halifax fans, cult-hero Scott McManus made his return to the pitch after around 11 months out with injury. The 27-year old came on as a substitute in the 73rd minute, operating in the midfield rather than his natural left-back role. Kevin was delighted to see Macca make his return and with his impact on the game…

“Yeah, it’s great for everyone at the club, even the lads. It’s a great achievement for Macca after having a really serious injury. It’s a credit to himself that he’s got himself fit and available before the end of the season. Everyone thought this season was a bit of a write-off for him, but we needed him today, we had a few injuries. Cliff was out, he’d done brilliant against Fylde. Lynchy was dead on his feet, he’s put a shift in all season. And fair play to Macca for coming on and doing a job.”

With every point, crucial for the club at this stage of the campaign, the Halifax fans’ continued support means even more to the squad. Kevin was thankful for yet another fantastic away following at Wetherby Road…

“We heard beforehand, we’d sold 700/800 tickets and it was more like a home game for us today, so the fans have been brilliant. In the Fylde game, I think they understood we deserved the win in my opinion and they gave us great support after that and they’ve come again today and done the same.”

If Halifax beat Curzon Ashton in their next game, they could secure a playoff place, should Salford City also lose or draw to relegation threatened Worcester City. Kevin wants the three points nevertheless, and expects to get revenge against the side that inflicted a 4-2 defeat onto the Shaymen back in November…

“Yeah, I think a win guarantees and even a point maybe, probably by goal difference, but we want the win. We’re at home, we’re expected to win and we definitely owe them one, I’d probably say that was the worst performance of the season, Curzon away, everything went wrong that day, so we look to get one back over them.”

FC Halifax Town take on Curzon Ashton at the MBi Shay Stadium this Saturday at 3pm.