FC Halifax Town manager Billy Heath has praised his sides “courageous” performance against one of the “better sides in the division”, after a Tom Denton hat-trick saw Town beat Nuneaton 3-2.
“At little bit too excited, I’d have taken a boring 1-0 today.”, he laughed. “The first half we could have had a couple more goals. The only negatives were the two goals we conceded. The first one was poor but let’s look at the positives. The lads were fantastic. It is an uncomfortable day in this heat against a side who are probably the best in the league at manipulating the football and we have come out winners. That takes a lot of endeavour, courage and hard work.”
Tom Denton’s first of three gave Halifax the lead after just two minutes but Town soon saw their lead cancelled out by an Aaron Williams strike moments later.
“The set-piece was good. Executed it really well with a great finish. Then we committed the cardinal sin of conceding minutes later. The reaction was good though after their goal though and we continued to create more chances. Second half we took those chances and that’s the difference. It is easy to make the mistake of sitting back after you concede and maybe we did a little bit and that is not want you want to do against Nuneaton but I can’t be too critical.”
Nuneaton Town only missed out on play-offs last season in the Vanarama National League North due to a points deduction for fielding an illegible player and are one of the sides looking to battle for the league title come May.
“It’s a tough place to come here. Nuneaton will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. We could have had a few more in the first half that we did. I told the boys at half-time not to get frustrated, don’t be disappointing. Focus on the positives and make sure that in the second half we take the changes we create.”
Heath warned in the week that it can sometimes take Denton a few games before the goals really begin to come, however it was Denton who popped up twice in the second half to secure a vital opening day victory for the Shaymen and Heath is now sure that more goals will come.
“He is a really good player. I don’t understand why people don’t give him the credit he deserves. What he does is the best in this league by a long way. Maybe it’s because he isn’t the easiest on the eye, let’s face it. He sticks to his strengths, so what we do as a team is stick to his strengths and when he is in that mood if you play to him he will score goals. Fair play to him, but I think there were plenty of brilliant performances out there. Richard Peniket was fantastic, he played a really good role. Josh MacDonald too.”
Before Denton’s hat-trick, MacDonald was certainly in with a shout of picking up the Man of the Match award and was denied a possible penalty in the first half after being brought down by Nuneaton defender Kevin Langmead.
“From where I was stood it looked like a penalty, obviously he had a different view”, he said. “When I watch it back tomorrow there will be some things that are great and some things that are not too great, like that and the two goals but that’s football. You can dissect these moments but at the end of the day it is all about the three points. Today was an exciting game. I don’t think anybody can say it was drab. Sometimes the first game of the season is a tense affair but there was a rhythm today.”
Halifax Town will next face Altrincham, another side fighting for promotion, at the MBi Shay Stadium on Tuesday night, but Heath reminded fans to stay grounded and take each game as it comes.
“Who knows? Everybody is expecting certain team to be up there but believe me, don’t take anything for granted. Sometimes the usual suspects in this league go missing a little bit. We have the three points, the games will come thick and fast, but it’s all about those points. That was key. Job Done.”
The full interview with Heath along with other content from the win is now available to watch on Shaymen Player HD!
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