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First Team

Braintee: Pitches Are Smaller

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Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 3 Apr 2014
Posted in First Team

Dumbfounded but far from disheartened following the last gasp defeat to Chester.

Paul Marshall is gunning for a 13th home win in the Skrill Premier this term against Braintree Town by making a statement of solidarity.

Braintree visit Calderdale for what will be only their second fixture of 2014, having last played on January 11th in a 1-0 defeat to Woking. The Essex outfit face the ungenerous task of playing 21 matches within the next seven weeks of the campaign. With Marshall unequivocal about his team-mates appetite for victory:

“At home there’s no doubt about it we’ve got the best home record in the league. After Thursday night the lads just want to put it right. Braintree might be fresh but at the same time that doesn’t really matter as we have to bounce back from Thursday.”

Having competed so admirably at the Exacta Stadium in front of the BT Sport cameras for large spells with 10 men. The former Walsall midfielder ,whilst quick to dispel the tag of being an overly physical team, believes that naivety has proved detrimental this season, as Josh Wilson’s red card against Chester was the seventh awarded to a FC Halifax Town player this season:

“If you look at the red cards we’ve had, they’ve been stupid ones. I think the Josh Wilson one at Chester was unfair,I wasn’t stood near him but I just thought that it was a stupid foul, I didn’t even think it was a yellow card.

The Reece Gray one before Christmas was unfair (on his debut against Woking,) Josh Wilson’s earlier on this season for retaliation was a stupid one, Kevin Holsgrove tripped someone up which was again stupid (both Salisbury City.) It is all about keeping your cool, opposing players sometimes try and get into your heads and it has worked in their favour at times this season.”

The gut-wrenching finale at Chester was a near replica of the 2-2 draw against Nuneaton Town earlier on this season. Yet Marshall takes solace from FC Halifax’s imperious home record, which sees them as the league’s top home scorers with 46 goals:

“Both of those endings were mad and to lose at the end on Thursday was devastating. Like I said at home there’s no doubt about it we’ve got the best home record in the league. We just need to continue that and keep scoring.”

With such a contrast between home and away form it is a conundrum that has yet to be solved. As length,width and perimeters appear to be Town’s plight on their travels:

“When we play at home it is a big pitch so we’re able to use our wingers and full-backs well. When we play away from home the pitches are smaller which makes it more difficult so I expect a good response on Tuesday night on a pitch we enjoy playing on.”

Having played the most games in the Skrill Premier to date, Marshall believes that the next three matches will determine whether a play-off push will materialise or not:

“Our next three games are very important, we have to win them all. If we win our next three games then we’ll see where we are at then. Because we would all rather have the points then the games in hand.”

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist

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