Kevin Roberts says the Shaymen can bounce back from a disappointing league defeat at Curzon Ashton with a win at Matlock on Saturday afternoon.
Billy Heath’s side visit Derbyshire this coming weekend for their first match defending the FA Trophy, a competition which brought the club and the town of Halifax some fantastic memories last season.
Roberts played the full 90 minutes at Wembley in the team’s 1-0 final win over Grimsby Town back in May, and looks back very fondly on the achievement.
“It was a great day for everyone involved,” said the defender.
“We were the underdogs against a top side who had just gained promotion into the league and we wanted to repay the fans after our terrible season.”
The final was the third game Roberts has been involved in at Wembley. He was an unused substitute for Cambridge in their 2014 FA Trophy final success against Gosport Borough, and later that season played in their playoff final victory against Gateshead.
But he rates the Shaymen’s success as his favourite Wembley memory.
“This time was obviously better because I played the whole game, and it also felt better than the playoff final because at Cambridge we were favourites, but everyone had written us off for Halifax against Grimsby.”
The Shaymen visited Matlock in July for a pre-season fixture which ended 2-2, but Roberts insists the teams will not have learnt much about each other and will need to remain focused from the first whistle. Their opponents are fighting for promotion into the National League North this campaign.
“The lads are preparing like any other game. We must treat Matlock with respect, like any other team.
“Pre-season is mainly about fitness so I don’t think either team would have learnt anything about each other from that game. We need to make sure we all turn up and are at it from the first whistle to get a result.”
It is even more vital for the Shaymen to give the supporters another positive result following an eventful 4-2 defeat on Tameside against Curzon Ashton last weekend.
“It is always important to bounce back after a defeat but even more so when it was a performance no one was proud of,” explained Roberts, who is confident the side can embark on another cup run this season – whilst acknowledging the crucial importance of the league.
“I believe we can go far again in the FA Trophy and the FA Cup – we have already surpassed our expectations, however for me the league is the most important and where our priorities lie.”
The FA Trophy clash with Matlock Town kicks off at 3pm on Saturday afternoon. Updates will be available on Twitter @FCHTOnline and the Shaymen Wall
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