Following FC Halifax Town’s opening day victory over Bromley, manager Chris Millington spoke to Shaymen TV to give his thoughts on the game.
“The first half we were quite controlled,” Millington said. “Maybe a little too controlled, a bit too safe at times in our possession, but we were good out of possession. We controlled what they were trying to do with the ball. They went long a lot, trying to win free kicks in our half, which I found myself confused by the new directives around the threshold in contact going high. In the first and second half, the threshold seems to have gone down and there were an awful lot of yellow cards given for what I felt, in most cases were good tackles. For both teams there were fouls given that weren’t fouls last season and yet the threshold is meant to have moved in favour of allowing more contact. So, a bit confused by that, but I’ll investigate it and try and work it out so we can work with our players better around how they approach the game. But, I was really pleased by the combative nature of the players, there wasn’t a bad tackle in the game, but there were plenty of challenges and efforts to try and regain possession which is something we are going to work at to be better at this season. We need to make sure we’re forcing the opposition play and trying to regain it and there was plenty of that in the first half.
“As we got into the second half, I think we tried to assert ourselves a little bit more. As a manager and a coach, one of the really pleasing things for us is the way the lads reflected at half time and looked to implement the things that we talked about in terms of stretching them and threatening in behind more. We did those things much better and retained a level of solidity out of possession but we carried more of a threat in possession. All in all, a pleasing afternoon and a good way to start the season.”
Town took the lead in the second half courtesy of Jack Evans who lifted the ball over the keeper to score on his debut.
“He deserved his goal today,” Millington told Shaymen TV. “He’s done an awful lot of hard work; covering ground, nullifying Bromley’s threats, landing on seconds, getting us playing forward, and he’s been good in possession as well. He’s played some good passes to exploit the space that Bromley were leaving us wide areas. He’s punched and penetrated in behind on a couple of occasions. He’s got to be really pleased with his debut here at the Shay and hopefully the fans have just seen a glimmer of what they can see out of not only him, but Ryan Galvin, the threat that Aaron Cosgrave carries, and I don’t need to introduce Max Wright, but he’s had a really positive impact on the game.”
Millenic Alli provided Town’s second goal of the game and gave the Shaymen a two-goal cushion to see out the remaining 17 minutes.
“You’ve got Rob Harker chuntering in the dugout after the game,” Millington said. “Alli should have laid on a very similar pass for Rob to finish and Max Wright should Milli Alli how to assist. It could and probably should have been three, but we can’t be greedy. We’ve got to be content with how we’ve gone out, worked hard, played to a system, we’ve nullified a very good team, and we’ve taken two of our chances to win the game.”
Up next for the Shaymen sees our first away game of the season as we travel to Boreham Wood.
“Boreham Wood are a real challenge,” Millington said. “We know what they’re like, probably not dissimilar to ourselves in many respects; hard working, organised, competitive, want to win but want to compete for everything, and will do everything they can not to get beaten. It’s a tight pitch down there at Boreham so it’s a very different game to here at the Shay, most of our squad are recruited to play at the Shay on this big open space. Boreham offer a very different type of environment to play in so we’ll address that, we’ll look at it and there might be one or two changes to try and recognise it and cope with it better. We’ve given ourselves a platform to start from and we look forward to going down there next Saturday.”
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