FC Halifax Town boss Billy Heath believes that Saturday’s game will not be easy as the Shaymen prepare to make the longest journey of the Vanarama National League North season to Gloucester City.
On Saturday, Heath’s side battled to reach the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 2-1 victory over Stalybridge Celtic at the MBi Shay Stadium. A result that Heath believes was a fair one.
“I think we deserved to win the game, even from the first 35 minutes because we were very good. It then became a war of attrition and we stood up to that. We fought fire with fire and, at the end of the day, we got the goal and we are through to the next round”
However, attention now turns to the upcoming league fixture at Whaddon Road as Town are gearing up to face a Gloucester side that sit just above the Shaymen in the National North table.
Despite The Tigers’ defeat to high-flying Harrogate Town in the last league outing, Heath recognises that the home side will not be low on confidence going into the game.
“It is always difficult. It is a tough place to go and they are having a good season. They are always very strong, they always have that physicality and that strength. They work extremely hard and, like I say, it is a tough trip”
“They are all tough games. If you are not prepared for them then they will be tough games but what we have got to do is make sure again that we work hard, stick together, we try and play our football and, hopefully, we can get a result”
The Shaymen should not have any fresh injury worries going into Saturday’s clash, although Heath says that the currently injured Matty Kosylo still has some time to wait before he can return to training.
‘Kozzy’ is going to be at least another two weeks. He has got a slight tear in his meniscus cartilage so he is probably going to need another two weeks for it to settle down and do some work on it”
“Hopefully he will not need to have an operation, that will do the trick and hopefully he will be back and get the okay in two weeks’ time”
Like Kosylo, another man who has struggled with injury is Defender Matty Brown. With Brown still looking to make his first appearance of the season, he has been back in training and Heath believes that his good progress could even put him in contention for Saturday
“He did ever so well. He did some pattern, some eleven versus elevens and, timewise, he came through both the sessions”
“He was probably chomping at the bit to get on the pitch (against Stalybridge) or to be on the bench but it is far too early for him. Two training sessions doesn’t do that”
“He is really in a good shape, he is looking quite fit and strong as he always is so hopefully we may have him to select from. It would be nice to get him a game or a couple of games because he really needs it somewhere but we will have to see on that one”
There will be live updates of Saturday afternoon’s clash at Whaddon Road along with post-match reaction from Heath and the lads available on the website and Shaymen Player HD respectively.
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