FC Halifax Town midfielder Connor Oliver believes The Shaymen are edging closer to a return to winning ways, after suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat to National League high-flyers Sutton United at Gander Green Lane.
Late goals from Tom Denton and Scott Garner couldn’t haul Halifax back into contention as the away side fell agonisingly short, but a buoyant Oliver lauded his team-mates’ efforts and their ‘never-say-die’ attitude.
“We conceded some sloppy goals, but you couldn’t fault the lads’ work rate – even those who came on late and made an impact,” Oliver said.
“We worked as hard as we could and seemed to get back into the game, everyone worked their socks off so there’s nothing to complain about in that regard.”
The former North Ferriby United threat switched to the West Yorkshire side in the summer, and has been an ever-present figure in the heart of Halifax’s maiden fifth tier campaign.
With flashes of Halifax’s ability being displayed against a tremendously tough Sutton outfit, Oliver is confident that The Shaymen can relight the spark that saw Town power towards the top of the table in the early stages of the season.
“We’ve got to stick together – we looked so much better at the start of the season and went on a great run, so there’s no reason why we can’t do it again.
“All the personnel’s the same in the team with a few exciting additions, so we’ve just got to go again and prepare for Hartlepool.”
Despite starting from the bench, Oliver certainly made his mark in the South London clash with an impressive second-half cameo, and the 23-year-old was pleased with his overall impact that saw Halifax almost stage an unlikely comeback.
“As soon as you come off the bench as a player, your aim is always to try and make an immediate impact and do your job for the team, and I certainly believe that I achieved that.
“I don’t think there’s much to criticise from the team, the work rate’s there and the lads are working for each other and for the manager.”
In such a tight and cagey league with little to separate each side, Oliver insisted that a slice of luck could be all that The Shaymen need to turn their winless run around.
“Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way – we scored two goals away from home, which normally earns you at least a point. We’ve just got to move on quickly and try to get that win on the board on Tuesday.
“There’s great character in the dressing room, it’s a good group of players who are working for each other – so there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll go on a run and collect some points.”
A quick turnaround sees Halifax travel north east to face former EFL force Hartlepool United, and Oliver hopes that a few days’ rest will prove vital in The Shaymen’s chances of snatching a crucial away victory.
“Most importantly we’ve just got to recover and make sure everyone’s alright for Tuesday. There’s no respite in this division because games come around quickly – we have to dust ourselves down, refresh and go again.”
Catch the full interview, in addition to all the Sutton United post-match reaction only on Shaymen TV.
Read more posts by Seb Gigner