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Stalybridge Celtic: Still Room For Improvement

Posted by Kelly Gilchrist
Posted on Thu 29 Sep 2016
Posted in First Team

FC Halifax Town return to FA Cup action this Saturday as they face Stalybridge Celtic in the Third Qualifying Round.

After defeating Ashton Athletic in the previous round, the Shaymen now face a more familiar opponent, previously playing Stalybridge in the league earlier this month.

We spoke to Josh Wilde about his thoughts on what needed to be done to see Halifax advance to the fourth and final qualifying round…

“Against Park Avenue I think we worked harder with the strikers. The midfield were pushing on and we were winning the ball much higher up the pitch, which is what the gaffer is aiming for; to really put it onto other teams as high up as we can, win the ball back and then there’s less for us to do as a team as we’re closer to the goal. I think we need to keep pressing when we haven’t got the ball, because when we have got the ball, we’re doing well and creating chances.”

When the MBi Shay Stadium hosted Stalybridge just over two weeks ago, it was the home side who emerged as winners, but it wasn’t the most convincing victory come the final whistle. Liam King’s penalty separated the two sides in a scrappy encounter where neither side created many chances. Josh hopes for a more entertaining performance in the upcoming fixture…

“It wasn’t the most convincing, but we did get the win. We need to keep on doing what we’re doing like we did on Saturday; there’s still room for improvement we know, like with the ball and a few decision making issues for the whole team. But without the ball, we’re working hard in training to make sure that we’re pressing a lot more, in packs, making it harder for other teams to play, and I think that’s what we’ve got to do again on Saturday.”

Despite having beaten Stalybridge already, Josh knows that the previous result won’t have an effect on Saturday’s game. Although, the left-back is hoping to enact some personal revenge…

“It gives us confidence a little bit, but as we know, anyone can beat anybody in this league, and although we have got a win, we know that we can’t go in to this game lightly. It’s a different competition, it’s a one-off game. All the players love this competition, we all want to go through so it adds a bit more spice to it and it’s going to be a tough game. Previously, at North Ferriby, we got knocked out to Stalybridge in the last round of the qualifying round, so I’d like a bit of payback for that. It’s a totally different game and I think everybody needs to make sure they have their heads on and we’re doing the right things and don’t think it’s just going to be another win.”

Although, Halifax’s chances could be boosted should Alex Simmons be included in the starting line-up. The loanee currently has four goals in three games and has become the star of the Shay at the moment. Josh hopes he can carry on his superb form…

“He’s come in and done really well. It’s nice to have him just in front of me. It makes my job easier as I can just give him the ball and let him do the rest. He’s started really well and I just hope he can carry on in the same vein as how he is doing at the minute. More goals and more assists and I think good things will come for him. He’s doing really well, so long may it continue for him”

FC Halifax Town play Stalybridge Celtic   in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round on Saturday at 3pm.

Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist