New FC Halifax Town midfielder Craig Clay believes his new side deserved their point in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Cambridge United, and thinks he can help the Shaymen out on their play-off run.
The former Chesterfield and York City midfielder was signed by Neil Aspin in the week, alongside Marlon Jackson, and admitted he was thrilled about making his full debut in such a big game.
“When I found out we were playing Cambridge, I thought it was a good fixture. It’s a good point for the lads. We went one nil down and worked hard to fight back. Even when we went down to ten men, the boys worked hard to fight on and they deserve a lot of credit.”
Clay was brought in by Aspin on an initial one-month deal after his contract at York expired, and has been impressed by his new teammates thus far.
“All the lads have been very welcoming. All the lads are in good spirit and everyone works hard – nobody thinks they’re better than anyone else. There’s a good family spirit around the squad.”
Craig started Saturday’s game just behind top-scorer Lee Gregory, and lasted the best part of an hour before being replaced by fellow new recruit Jackson, and says he can make a difference, especially once his match fitness returns.
“I like to get involved. I’ve trained with Lee Gregory on Tuesday night and we linked up well so I was really looking forward to that challenge. I’d like to think I’m a midfielder who can get everywhere really. I need to maybe work on my fitness levels, as I’ve not played competitive football since perhaps October with York City, but if I do some work myself and get running, hopefully I can get 90 minutes under my belt soon.”
Town fell behind to a Tom Elliott header, after a fairly contentious decision to award the visitors a free-kick, and Clay, like many others inside the Shay, felt the referee made the wrong decision.
“I think everybody in the ground could see it was the wrong decision. It happens in football, but full credit has to go to the lads for fighting back. It’s a hard earned point.”
Clay’s home debut gave him his first taste of Saturday afternoon football at the Shay, and the 21 year-old confessed he was impressed with the home support.
“I thought it was great today, all credit to the fans. They were singing all the way through, even when they were one nil down. It was a very good atmosphere and I really pleased I got to play today.”
Town go on the road now, facing trips to Aldershot and Lincoln in the next fortnight, but Clay believes his new side can reverse their fortunes on the road.
“I’ve heard that the home form has been really good, probably one of the best in the league but we know the away form can be improved. Aldershot and Lincoln will be two good games and if we fight like we did today, I can see us picking up six points from those two games.”
Clay joins the Shaymen after struggling to make an impact at York City this season, but is determined to make an impression during his time at the Shay.
“On a personal level, my number one priority is playing football. I’m a 21 year old lad and I want to play week in week out. In terms of the team, I’ve noticed today the courage and determination the lads have, and if we stick together, we can achieve a lot.”
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