FCHT defender Chris Smith has declared his glee after a full debut to remember in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Nuneaton.
The centre half was dominant at the back, before heading in Town’s winner late on from a Josh Wilson corner, and was delighted with his performance.
“I’ve come on a few times but it’s the first start so I was a little bit apprehensive before the game because I’ve not played for a while, but I think I did well. I thought after the first ten minutes we dominated and a clean sheet is massive for us. I think we’ve only conceded one goal since I’ve been here, so I felt a bit of pressure, but I thought all in all, the whole team defended really well.”
Smith profited from the coMBined absence of Marc Roberts (injury) and Simon Ainge (suspension) to make his first start for the club, and was pleased he was able to impact in his chance to impress.
“Ainge and Robbo have been a different class and I’ve had to stay on the bench, but that’s just how it is sometimes. But today it’s given us a chance, both me and Danny Lowe, and the best thing we can do is do it the best we can, and I thought we did today. But they’re still massive players and next week it gives the boss a headache.”
Smith was paired with club captain Danny Lowe who too made his first appearance in 2014 after a severe knee injury, and the former York City man thought the pair performed admirably, all things considered.
“I think his last game was December and my last game was November, so to go to a good side in a big pressure game where we needed the three points, and to keep a clean sheet was just different class from all the lads.”
Smith’s winner came just five minutes from time, rising highest from Wilson’s deliver to nod home and send the away fans behind the goal into ecstasy, and Chris was delighted to get the final touch, despite the best efforts of Matty Pearson.
“He asked me if I saw it, because he jumped just in front of me and actually got a flick and started celebrating, but I told him he wasn’t having that. It was difficult because they were marking zonally and the gaffer wanted the ball whipped, and sometimes when it is zonal it’s better to just stand it up, but it was the best ball of the day, and I’m just glad it went in.”
Neil Aspin would have been desperate for the three points after Thursday’s disappointing stalemate with Braintree, and his side duly obliged, restricting their hosts to only a smattering of clear cut opportunities, and Smith is keen to take the positives from an unbeaten week.
“I thought on Thursday, a clean sheet and a point wasn’t a bad result. We needed three points today to be the pressure on. We can concentrate on ourselves. We’ve just got to take every game as it comes. But to come here and win 1-0 was a great result.”
Town’s next tough jaunt is next Saturday’s trip to Barnet, and Smith is excited for another big game between play-off rivals.
“It’s massive, but I think you’re going to be saying that every week. Barnet will want to win, we’ll want to win. It’s a nice stadium and a good pitch so it should be a good game and we need to go there and win. But if we go there and draw, it’s not the end of the world. There are still plenty of points to play for and we still control our own destiny, because of the teams we’ve got left to play. We’ve got a tough week ahead, but if we play like we have today, I think we’ll be alright.”
Watch the full interview on Shaymen Player now.
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist