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FC Halifax Town were just minutes away from progressing to the third round of the Emirates FA Cup after a crazy game against Eastleigh with the home side forcing a replay after a crazy 3-3 draw.
The Spitfires opened the scoring in the first half through Mikael Mandron and that’s the way it stayed until midway through the second half, when a crazy 10 minutes saw The Shaymen score three goals courtesy of Scott Garner, Jordan Sinnott and Richard Peniket giving the home side a mountain to climb. Mandron grabbed his second of the game and the equaliser in the dying minutes after Scott Wilson scored shortly after Peniket.
We spoke to manager Billy Heath to get his views on the fantastic team performance…
“I thought we played really well, in the first half we stifled them a lot and we had a couple of good chances ourselves. I thought we were slightly unfortunate to go in 1-0. Then second half the game exploded, we get the three goals which I thought was magnificent and I thought we really took over the game in the second half. With 20 minutes it was disappointing conceding the two goals and put us under immense pressure, fair play to Eastleigh and Martin because they threw everything at us and unfortunately the physicality in the end they managed to get the third goal. The second goal was a little bit of a killer because if we hold out for another 10 minutes we would have probably have seen the game out.”
The Shaymen did offer a threat in the first half through Tom Denton and Jordan Sinnott but Eastleigh showed exactly why they are play-off contenders and really took the game to Billy’s lads…
“Coming away to one of the bigger boys in the conference so you try and stay in the game which is what we did. We said early doors we try and stay in the tie because we knew they were going to put us under pressure, we knew they were physically very good so we stayed in the game. We had a great chance when Denton put his header over.”
The game changed completely second half with Halifax in the ascendency and looking like the team in the higher division with three goals in the space of ten minutes…
“Second half we said that we had to be a bit more expansive and we had to get a few more players forward. Sinnott started to play closer to Denton and really for 20 minutes Sinnott controlled the whole game and was a part of everything. I though Peniket did really well when he came on with his goal, we were so close but at the end of the day if someone said we could have had a draw before we kicked off we would have taken it and took them back to the shay, which is disappointing when you’re in this position. We have had some disappointing results of late but the players have been absolutely fantastic today.”
It’s been a bad few weeks for The Shaymen losing a number of matches and exiting two competitions within the space of 24 hours, but this game was a far cry from the past two weeks…
“Football’s a strange game, one minute we don’t look like the team we were two weeks ago and then suddenly we play a big FA Cup game against Eastleigh and suddenly everyone’s alive. It’s all about consistency, producing a top performance every game and that’s what we’re striving to do.”
The tie is not over yet by any means and Billy’s boys will have to do the business in the replay but when the draw comes out on Monday and the big boys come into play who knows what The Shaymen could potentially pull…
“Yeah it will be quite strange, we’ll always be looking but we’ve got make sure that we put it right because when the draw comes out on Monday we’ll probably have them thoughts of we should be in the draw already, but we’re not and we’ve got to concentrate now. Whoever comes out of the hat might add a bit more spice to the tie.”
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist