Despite the celebratory mood in the air at The Shay on Wednesday night, midfield maestro Matty Pearson knows that there is still work to be done for The Shaymen if they are going to book their place in the play-off final at Wembley.
“I think it is a great result for us, but as I said to the lads it is a job half done. We have still got to go down to Cambridge and get a result, something which I think the lads are capable of doing, we’ve just got to enjoy tonight and then crack on and take it as if it is still 0-0. Hopefully we can go down there and do the job.”
The game itself was a tentative affair, something which Pearson admits was down to both the occasion and spectacle of a play-off game.
“Obviously it was hard to settle, both teams were buzzing for the game and it had to settle down a little bit, but once we got into the game I thought the lads really stuck at it and I thought we had good waves of attack and I thought we did well.”
By his own admission, Richard Money’s Cambridge side probably had the better of the first half but were unable to capitalise on their early pressure.
“They had chances, but unfortunately for them they didn’t put them away. We stuck at it and got that chance and we put it away. They could have gone in front but luckily for us they didn’t and we ground out the result that we wanted.”
With the game seemingly heading for 0-0, Pearson always knew that Town would get a chance to score the goal that would give them the advantage going into the second leg.
“All the lads know that it is a case of just believing, we always know that we are going to get that chance. You look at our goal record, it proves that we score goals and we always create those chances to score goals no matter what minute it is. Just like the other day (against Kidderminster) when Josh (Wilson) scored in the first five minute, we know we will get the chance and will score at some point.”
With a crowd that boasted a home support of over 3000, Pearson could do nothing but heap the praise on the fans for their excellent backing.
“The Shay has just been an amazing place to play and all the lads just buzz off playing here. We’ve had a little bit of luck, like we did tonight in the first half, but I think we deserve the win. It is just grinding it out, always keep going and grinding out that result. It gives you a massive lift. All the fans, they keep going all the way through the game and it makes you keep going all the way through the game, it is just great to play in front of.”
Pearson reiterated the fact that the job was only half done, but was optimistic and positive about the second leg on Sunday.
“You’ve got to be confident. We’ll just enjoy tonight and then we’ll get grounded again. We can’t get complacent, we’ve got to approach the game as if it is 0-0 still and not change the way we play because if we change the way we play we will just invite the pressure on us. So hopefully we will just stick at what we do and we will get the result there.”
Whilst he ensures that he will enjoy the result tonight, Pearson insisted that there will be no celebration just yet, with the plan for the week already set in stone.
“I’ve got work tomorrow. Back to reality, just relax, chill out and get ready for the weekend.”
The full interview with Matty is available to watch on Shaymen Player.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist