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Eastleigh: Mixed Emotions

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Mon 5 Dec 2016
Posted in First Team

FC Halifax Town’s Emirates FA Cup dream still lives after a 3-3 thriller at Eastleigh, a late Mikael Mandron goal unfortunately denying the Shaymen an early advancement.

After going 1-0 down, the visitors pulled the game back, before taking a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Jordan Sinnott, Scott Garner and Richard Peniket. However, Eastleigh put the Shaymen celebrations on hold as they brought the scoreline level and forced a replay at the Shay. Ball number 60 will be the one to keep your eye out for during tomorrow’s FA Cup draw, with Premier League side being potential future opponents in the tournament.

After the game, we had a chat with Scott Garner about the game…

“I have mixed emotions really, because at half-time you’d take a draw and take them back to our place. I think the first 25 minutes took a bit of getting to grips with them. And then we really came into our own in the second half, and we were awesome. We deserved the 3-1 lead. It went 3-3, but we’re still in the hat so the excitement continues. Obviously gutted to concede late on like that, it would have been great to hang on. We can take them back to our place and you’ve got to fancy us. We still get the excitement of seeing who we’ve drawn and then we’ve got to go do the job ourselves at home. They’ve got a long trip to us now so the ball’s in our court.”

The majority of the first half belonged to Eastleigh, who looked comfortable on the ball and created the most chances, with Mandron scoring his first of two on the 18th minute. Billy Heath’s team talk definitely did the trick for Halifax as they came out much stronger, and created a two goal lead thanks to Sinnott’s low shot, and Garner’s header…

“Billy gives you such belief in yourself. You’d run through bricks walls for each other. They’re the kind of teams he builds. I think that’s exactly what we’ve done today; I think we went the extra mile. That’s what we need to carry into every game now. He installs belief into you and you believe you can go take on any team. He’s finds ways of winning games and he’s had that all his career, and that’s what he’s doing again”

Garner’s goal put the Shaymen ahead in front of the loyal, travelling support who were sent into raptures. It was a feeling that Garner won’t be forgetting anytime soon…

 “It was great. Dents got a touch on the ball, you can always bank on him getting a touch, and he’s always going to get something. It’s come straight to my head; I’ve nodded it and thought ‘please go in that far corner’. It’s hard down there, so it’s bobbled right to left a bit and I’m thinking ‘just get inside the post’ and it has so absolutely delighted. Can’t really control your emotions running over to the fans, but it was great, the fans going crazy as well. Good scenes.”

When 3-1 ahead with the 3rd Round of the FA Cup beckoning, some might think that a ‘backs to the wall job’ may be in order. However, Scott believes his side could have easily extended their lead and were unfortunate to see Eastleigh peg them back…

“I think we looked like scoring again on the counter, I thought they were wobbling a bit. We tucked in and defended narrowly, which is what you have to do. On the break, we looked dangerous again, and we almost got another one in which would have really seen it off. I think we’ve gone about it the right way today and been a bit unlucky in the end.”

After the performances seen at Curzon Ashton, and the two FA Trophy games at Matlock, Scott also believes the performance today will only bring positives to the side, who will now be flowing with confidence…

“I think we’ve had three poor performances, which are not Halifax-like, so I think this has put us back on track, and we’ll get back into the habit where winning is standard and we work hard, we get around each other, we win our battles and then we play our stuff. We have to earn the right to play and that’s what we did today. It took us 25 minutes to earn that right and then once we did, we really started to get into the game and I think we were looking good for the win.”

Halifax players and manager, as well as the Shaymen faithful will all be glued to the television screens come Monday night when Ball 60 comes out, and Scott can’t wait to see who could potentially be Halifax’s next opponents…

 “I can’t wait for it! I’ll be sat in front of the TV and hopefully we get a good one, and one where we have to go to work and earn the right again”

FC Halifax Town will return to action at the MBi Shay Stadium for their Emirates FA Cup 2nd Round Replay against Eastleigh is December 13th, kick-off at 7:45pm.


Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist