FC Halifax Town: Chorley win was turning point of the season, says Peniket

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Curzon Ashton, at the MBI Shay Stadium. Richard Peniket
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Curzon Ashton, at the MBI Shay Stadium. Richard Peniket
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Richard Peniket feels Town’s 2-1 win over Saturday’s opponents Chorley back in January was the turning point of their season.

Halifax went into that game on the back of a dispiriting 1-0 defeat at strugglers Stalybridge - their ninth in a row without a win - in a match that saw the travelling Halifax fans calling for manager Billy Heath to be sacked.

But Town roared back to victory at The Shay three days later when a switch to a back-three reaped handsome dividends in their 2-1 win, with Peniket one of the scorers.

The victory was the first of six wins from Halifax’s next seven outings, and Peniket identifies the result as pivotal in helping the club go on to seal their place in the play-offs.

“I thought we showed real courage that night,” said the striker. “To go from losing 1-0 at Stalybridge - that was the real down-point of the season - to get down to The Shay on the following Tuesday night and show the fans we do care and we can play football was a real turning point. I came in for that game so I’m taking all the credit!

“Then we went on to beat Tamworth 6-2 and went on a real run after that. The next lost points was Alfreton away. It’s been a good season since then.

“I think we’ve shown a real resilience this season. There was a time when the players and the manager were getting a lot of stick but to come back from that and go on the run we’ve been on is credit to the manager and the players.

“We’ve stuck together in the dressing room and credit to us to be in these play-offs now. It’s hard when people are against you and you’re having a bad run of form to turn that around, but we did and we’re in good form now.”

Peniket has started Town’s last two games in place of Tom Denton, but is pragmatic about his prospects of retaining his place for the play-offs.

“I’ll do the best I can when I’m given the opportunity,” he said. “We’ve won the last two but I think it’s a squad game. There’s Morgan, Denton, myself - we’ve all got different qualities we bring to the team, and in a certain game it might suit one of us in particular.

“I think I’ve contributed well in the last two games. I’d have liked a goal or two but hopefully people appreciate what I’m doing with my work rate up there, laying things on for other people, and hopefully that’s been enough in the last two games to keep my place.”

Peniket was originally, and incorrectly, credited with Town’s opening goal on Saturday, which came off a Curzon defender, despite the Halifax forward’s claims: “If Dents is claiming the one at Bradford, I’m claiming that!”

Peniket has 10 goals in 41 appearances this season, a return he would like to have been higher.

He said: “It’s hard to judge. As a striker you’d want 20 but then I haven’t played every game up-front. I’d like to have more but I’m pleased with my contribution since Christmas.

“As long as we do well as a team then I’m happy, I’m not a selfish player where it’s all about me and I want to score all the goals.”