Richard Peniket and Matty Brown have praised the courage they and their teammates showed to reach the Vanarama National League North playoff final.
The Shaymen beat Salford City 3-0 on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate draw, in which Peniket scored both goals.
“We’re delighted to be through to the final on Saturday,” said the forward.
“We battled away and we showed great courage in the penalties to get through.”
Defender Brown put in a solid performance at the back throughout, before tucking away the winning spot-kick in front of the Halifax fans. He admires the shift the team put in.
“We dug in and worked hard to come away with the draw [on Wednesday night] and gave ourselves a real fighting chance here at The Shay.
“We stick together, us lads. We’re never beaten. Even though the second half of extra time was perhaps sloping to Salford we stuck it out to penalties, and now we’re bouncing for the final.”
Goal hero Peniket thought the tie was a usual tough one to win.
“It was really tough over the two legs. It was a really tight semi-final and they were a tough nut to crack, really hard to break down.
“I thought we deserved it on the whole, it’s a real pleasing one to get through.”
Brown says the game was tight because of the similar style of play the two teams have.
“I think they play similarly to us, with a high tempo and knocking balls into good areas, and also with a few flair players.
“No disrespect to Salford, but I just don’t think they’re as good as us. We’re a solid outfit, maybe not so pleasing on the eye sometimes but we’ve dug in and we’ve got a real fighting chance of going up.
“We’re back here at The Shay with another big crowd behind us, we’ll relish the pressure. It’s down to us now.”
Peniket says the team were disappointed at the time not to go through in the 120 minutes with the 1-0 lead but welcomed any way to get the job done.
“The gaffer told us just to keep focused. We’d have liked to get it done with the 1-0, but as it was we stuck out to penalties and got through any way we could.”
Brown and Peniket explained the vital importance of the supporters going into the final and biggest match of FC Halifax Town’s season.
“They’re fantastic,” said Brown.
“It’s a good vibe that we’ll keep feeding off and let’s hope for plenty there on Saturday – the more the better.
“Obviously, any misbehaving we don’t condone but when it’s all in good passion it really pushes us over the line, for them to get behind us like that. We’re all like that with the clubs we support, so they’re brilliant.”
“We could smell the alcohol from out on the pitch,” added Peniket, with both players and the team clearly in good spirits after a triumphant, hard-fought win.
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