FC Halifax Town: Harvey delighted to take two-goal cushion into second-leg

Nantwich v Halifax. Picture: Darren Murphy
Nantwich v Halifax. Picture: Darren Murphy

Jim Harvey was thrilled after FC Halifax Town beat Nantwich 4-2 in the first-leg of their FA Trophy semi-final.

The Shaymen put one foot firmly into the final thanks to goals from Scott McManus, Waide Fairhurst and two from Jordan Burrow, although goals from Sean Cooke and Matty Kosylo just about kept Nantwich in the tie.

Harvey said: “I’m delighted with that. As much as I’ve said all along that the league is the priority for me, and it is, but I’m delighted because this will give everybody such a boost.

“And a two-goal cushion to take home is more than we could have expected.

“I know the players are delighted with that and it will keep the spirits up and put us in a good frame of mind for a more important game in my mind, Torquay on Tuesday.”

Harvey admitted there were some home truths dished out to his squad before the game, but said his side produced the right response, especially striker Waide Fairhurst, who made his first Town start in the win.

“The game plan was to do better than we’ve done in the last two games,” Harvey said.

“I wasn’t happy with the performances, certainly at Bromley, I thought we gave the ball away far too cheaply.

“We had a few words about it and the players came into the game on the back of a telling off, but they responded in he right way.

“They played sharper today and it was a better performance, but I think a lot of that was also down to Waide Fairhurst coming in.

“He linked the game up marvelously for us and he’s a clever player.

“We’re getting near to the end of the season and we need to get him up and running.

“You can see there’s ability there. He’s clever, tenacious, he plays with an attitude that we wants to win and compete.

“He’s not frightened to get on the ball. I think he’s going to be very important for us.”

The Town boss was impressed by Nantwich, who lost at home for only the fourth time this season, but was disappointed to see them reduce Town’s lead late on after they’d raced into a 4-1 lead after an hour.

“They’re a very good team. I think they’re really well organised, they’ve got some very good attacking players and when they come forward they’re a handful,” Harvey said.

“They continued to play and got that late goal, which we’re disappointed about, but this is what football’s all about.

“You’ve got to show commitment and desire to go and play.

“If you can’t show that when you’e got a Wembley appearance at stake then there’s something wrong.

“They’ve done everything I’d expected of them and our boys have given me more today than I was expecting so I’m very pleased.”

Jordan Burrow netted his first goals for a month, which Harvey feels is just reward for the striker’s efforts.

He added: “I’d have been happier if he’d scored his first opportunity to put us 3-0 in the lead, because I thought that might come back to bite us.

“But to go and score two goals is very good and Jordan works extremely hard for the team.

“A lot of our focus was getting balls to him and he was linking up with Waide.

“He’s had very little credit for that work he does for the team so it’s nice for him to get a couple of goals today, that’s really pleasing.”