For Josh Wilde, and many others in the FC Halifax Town squad, the visit of Wrexham on Tuesday night will see the return of a familiar face at the MBi Shay Stadium.
Former Shayman Kevin Roberts makes his first return to Halifax since leaving for full-time football at Wrexham in the summer, after guiding Town to an instant return to the Vanarama National League last season.
Not only a fan favourite during his time in West Yorkshire, Roberts also left a good impression on the players before departing for North Wales. For Wilde, who featured in all but one of the games last year, Tuesday night’s reunion is set to be an interesting prospect.
“I haven’t spoken to him much but we were good mates and I rated him very highly. We play in a similar position and I thought he had the full package, good defensively and always chipped in with assists. He was a big loss.
“He has had a few injuries this year so it sounds rubbish but I’m hoping he won’t start because he is a big threat. It will be very good to see him because he is a great lad but hopefully we can get one over him.
“As soon as you step over that white line you have to put that to one side and go into it as you would with any other game. It will be a good battle, if he plays, up against the likes of Kosylo”.
With Roberts just one of a host of good players at Wrexham’s disposal, Wilde is expecting a tough test on what will be the first midweek fixture since Leyton Orient three weeks ago. Despite this, Wilde says Town need to bounce back after what he described as a “poor performance” at Ebbsfleet.
“Defensively, they are really tight at the back. You can’t take your foot off the gas for one minute because you know every game will be tough. We know we need to regroup and it is good that the fans are behind us. It was a poor performance against Ebbsfleet but to see the fans still clapping us off after travelling all that way is a bonus. It gives you a lift”.
The brief mentioning of Ebbsfleet is all that is needed, as the bigger picture shows something a whole lot better for the Shaymen.
Town’s start to life back in the National League has certainly been something to celebrate, keeping up with what could be the ‘play-off pack’ come the end of the season. In Wilde’s opinion, the Shaymen are making a great account of themselves, and enjoying every minute of it.
“It just shows the lads’ team spirit and togetherness. If you look at our squad compared to others it might not be as good on paper. At the end of the day, Billy is getting the best out of us, we are playing well, creating lots of chances, defending well and working hard as a team.
“If you do that you can beat anybody on your day. It was just disappointing that we couldn’t create as many chances as we usually would have done, but you will have those days. Thankfully we have a quick turnaround so we don’t have to wait a week to put it right again. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways”.
If you cannot make the game on Tuesday there will be live updates and commentary available on the club website.
Read more posts by Ben Armitage