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First Team

Chorley: It’s A Good Test

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 27 Apr 2017
Posted in First Team

FC Halifax Town secured a spot in the Vanarama National League North playoffs after a commanding 3-0 win over Curzon Ashton. Richard Peniket, Dion Charles and Danny Hone all put their names on the scoresheet as the Shaymen booked a place in the playoffs before turning their attention to this Saturday’s opponents, Chorley.

We spoke to Josh Wilde ahead of the weekend clash. The game evoked memories of the previous win over Harrogate in terms of score line as well as performance – the left-back was pleased with the team’s efforts against the Nash…

“I thought we were quite comfortable really. Again, it was another good performance, like Harrogate – I don’t think they caused is too many problems defensively. At half-time they changed formation which made us change formation, with the 3-5-2. Yeah, I think we controlled it really and in the end, it was a good result.”

The playoffs are no stranger to Wilde who has reached the same position with North Ferriby last season. Josh is looking forward to delving into the playoffs yet again…

“This is what you play all season for – to have a chance at getting up and obviously, we’ve still got that chance. I think this is my 3rd time I’ve got into the North playoffs so it’s a good test. The first leg is going to be a bit tentative, make sure that we’re within sight and then second leg, hopefully we’ll be at home and we can take it to whoever we’ve got. And then in the final, it’s a one-off game, you’ve just got to give everyone and hopefully that’s enough to win. It’s a great achievement in itself to get into the playoffs because it’s been a strong league this year.”

Chorley are the Shaymen’s next and final opponents of the regular season. The side are currently in a playoff position but could potentially miss out on a chance of promotion should they drop points and Stockport County win against Gloucester City. Josh only has eyes set on victory and hopes Halifax can even leapfrog Kidderminster Harriers to second place…

“Saturday will be massively tough. They need to win really to get in because obviously, Stockport could still get above them. They’ll be doing everything they can to get into the playoffs but at the same time we need to get another win because you need 2nd place. Obviously, we can still get that if Kiddy fail to win and we win, our goal difference is better so we can nick 2nd. We’ve done better against better opposition this season, against the better teams I do fancy us to get a result so I’m not going there fearful at all. If anything, I think we can come out and win it and hopefully make that 2nd place.”

Halifax find themselves in a great vein of form, having lost only once in their last eight, picking up five clean sheets in that same time. Josh hopes this scintillating form on the field continues the weekend…

“We’re massively confident. We’ve had so many clean sheets over the last few weeks, we’re doing well defensively as a team, working hard off the ball, making sure we’re organised. I think we’re so hard to break down and because we’ve got such great wingers and strikers, I think we can get most teams on the break. If we keep on doing what we’re doing I think we can be too good for anybody. We’ve got to make sure we turn up on the day and do what we can do, if we don’t we’re going to get punished.”

Josh also hopes he can give the travelling fans a reward for their support this season in the form of three points at Victory Park.

“We want to end the season on a high and make sure we get that win. It gives us confidence then going into the playoffs on the back of a win so we need to make sure we get that win. The fans have been brilliant, fantastic. Especially the last few weeks, they’ve been awesome, supporting us even when things haven’t got particularly right. It’s just brilliant and it’s exactly what we need to push us and get us over that line. The lads are going to give everything they can to get into playoffs – we’re all talking about it constantly on our group chat, we’re buzzing for it. It’s going to be a good week or two hopefully.”

Josh picked up the Best Newcomer Award at the presentation evening after the Curzon Ashton game and thanks the loyal Halifax fans for their support for him during his successful campaign…

“I’m chuffed to bits really. With Scott McManus in front of me, I knew it’d be hard to win people over because obviously, he has the cult-hero status. But I just concentrated on my game and made sure I was doing things right for the team. All I do is just try my best always and it’s been working. The fans, I need to thank them really, I’ve not heard a bad word said about me, so it really helps bring on my game, bring on my confidence. It’s a good achievement, and I’m pleased for Scott Garner as well, winning all those awards. He deserves it, he’s done really well this season.”

And with the 2016-17 season ending very soon, Josh gave us thoughts on his debut season as a Shayman…

“I think I’ve done quite well really. I had a bit of a shaky start, I wasn’t playing as well as I could have done, but after that, I think I’ve done well. I’ve scored three goals this year, which isn’t too shabby for a left-back. And contributing by getting forward as well as defending, I feel like I’ve been quite consistent in my performances as well. Hopefully if they still want me, I’ll still be at Halifax next season, and playing better again than this season.”

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist