FC Halifax Town midfielder Nathan Hotte believes that Town should have been awarded a late penalty, as they played out a 0-0 draw against Wrexham at the MBi Shay Stadium.
As injury time wore on, Adam Morgan found some space in the opposition box to turn, being brought down by former Shayman Kevin Roberts in the process. However, Referee Marc Edwards was quick to diminish Morgan’s hopes of influencing the decision.
For the Shaymen, chance-wise it was a frustrating night, and a penalty would have gone a long way for the home side. After the game, Hotte gave us his opinion on the matter.
He said: “It looked like a penalty from my angle. He got the wrong side of him and his arms wrapped around him. For me, it was a penalty but the ref hasn’t given it”.
For the most part, the chances were few and far between, Morgan himself having one of the best of the match when his rasping half-volley forced a decent save out of Wrexham’s Luke Coddington.
The last ten minutes, however, were a stark contrast, as the Shaymen threw everything but the kitchen sink at the visitors. In the end it just was not to be, although Hotte says there are still plenty of positives to take away from the game.
“Wrexham are a good team, you will take any point in this league. With every team it’s a battle and obviously tonight it was end-to-end. It could have gone either way but we will take a point. Both sides had a few chances and it got really open towards the end but it is probably a fair result.
“In the last ten minutes we had two or three decent chances, we were hoping to get one of them in because we had already defended well all night. We never looked like conceding but it would have been nice to sneak a win”.
Hotte, coming in for the suspended Scott Garner at centre back, arguably was one of the stand-out performers on the pitch. Despite the makeshift defensive partnership, Hotte was very happy with the back-four’s performance.
“We tended to deal with everything that was thrown at us quite well. ‘Browny’ is a different class, he talks to me and keeps me focussed. Josh Wilde as well. Defensively, whoever plays there, it will be a good unit and we don’t concede many goals so it is easy to slot in”.
A 0-0 may not have the best ring to it, although keeping a clean sheet against an experienced Vanarama National League side like Wrexham is a good achievement. For Hotte, they will be in and around the play-off’s come the end of the season, but the Shaymen could well be a dark horse.
“It is a good measure for us. We are up there ourselves, people were probably not expecting us to do as well as we are doing. We want to get to the 50 points as soon as we can but you never know, we could be in the mix towards the end of the season”.
As mentioned earlier, the suspended Garner was forced to sit this one out, although he is back available for Saturday’s trip to Boreham Wood.
Although, after such a solid performance, Hotte could easily find himself filling the gap once again. However, he says he is happy for Garner to come straight back into the side.
“I’ll let him have it back for Saturday. I don’t mind playing in centre half but I prefer centre mid. I’m just glad I didn’t get my fifth yellow card tonight because that would have made it interesting for Saturday if I was suspended.
“We would have to put a few names into a hat. Luckily, I didn’t get it so we move onto Saturday now and have Garner back, we should be back up to full strength.
“We said after Ebbsfleet that we don’t want to go on a run of losing back-to-back games. We got a good point tonight and now we take that into Saturday”.
Head over to Shaymen TV to watch the full interview with Hotte, along with more post-match reaction from Billy Heath and Morgan.
Read more posts by Ben Armitage