Steven Drench says there won’t be any complacency from FC Halifax Town when they travel to the Tameside Stadium to take on Curzon Ashton this Saturday, November 19. Their hosts have not won at home in the National League North this season, but were Emirates FA Cup First round replay victors at home this week, just like the Shaymen. Town beat Dagenham and Redbridge courtesy of Matty Kosylo’s brilliant last minute winner on Tuesday night, and Drench highlighted the tension of the victorious evening.
“When we got the penalty I thought it could be game over,” the goalkeeper said. “They’d have to throw everything at us and we’d pick them off and be comfortable winners, I thought. But when they saved it, it gave them a confidence boost.
“Then they scored and I thought it might be one of those nights; it was very tense. Thankfully ‘Kosy’ [Kosylo] came up with another brilliant goal and we’re in the second round.”
Despite conceding in the Dagenham game, the team have defended well of late, keeping clean sheets in the two matches prior to the replay. Drench attributes the improved performances to a turning point earlier this season.
“We came in for a bit of criticism after the Gainsborough Trinity game and the manager had a few choice words – not for individuals – but the team as a whole,” said Drench. “In the games since then, though, we’ve been really solid. Everyone’s getting to know each others’ game; their strengths and weaknesses. My own form’s been very good but so has everyone in the back four and in the whole team.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Drench says he does not expect an easy ride in Ashton-under-Lyme, despite their league position. “It will be a really tough game,” he said. “I’ve known Curzon for a good few years and the pitch is really complimentary to how they try to play. There won’t be any complacency on our part.”
“Both managers will be saying ‘there’s no point in FA Cup progression if we don’t go out and get the points in the bread and butter games of the league’.”
“At the end of the season we’ll be judged on our league performances, not the FA Cup. You have to take every game as it comes, and it will be a tough game, but if we go there and carry on our form from the last ten games or so we’ll be confident of getting a result.”
When asked about the feeling in the dressing room at the moment, Drench was clearly delighted with the atmosphere surrounding him and his team mates, revealing: “We’re really confident at the moment – everyone’s in a good grove – keeping clean sheets and scoring goals. Training is a pleasure to be involved with; we’re enjoying it all.
“The spirit has always been good, whether we’ve been winning or losing games. We’re now looking forward to all the big games coming up leading into Christmas, which could go some way to dictating where we finish come the end of the season.”
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