FC Halifax Town v Chorley: Walker expects Town to finish the job in final

FC Halifax Town beat Salford City in the semi-finals of the play-offs, at the MBI Shay Stadium
FC Halifax Town beat Salford City in the semi-finals of the play-offs, at the MBI Shay Stadium

Former Town midfielder Sam Walker believes Halifax will have too much quality for Chorley in their play-off final clash on Saturday.

The Salford midfielder was on the losing side at The Shay on Sunday in Town’s semi-final success.

And he thinks The Shaymen will go on to seal promotion in Saturday’s final.

“I think Halifax are a similar side to us,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of desire, fighting spirit, as they showed on Sunday.

“Halifax can draw so much character out of that performance because concentration levels over 120 minutes have to be so high. But they stuck to their task.

“They might feel, now they’ve put us out, it’s theirs to lose now.

“In-front of their home crowd they will be bouncing and I think they might just have too much for Chorley.

“They’re a big side, they set out well with the system they use, having three centre-backs and two wing-backs.

“They have a couple of midfielders who run off the front-men. They’re quite direct, resilient and dogged out of possession.

“But I don’t think they’re anything Halifax can’t cope with. Halifax have good players, a good squad and they can match Chorley by playing three at the back or go 4-3-3.”

Walker made 26 appearances for Halifax last season as they won the FA Trophy but were relegated from the National League.

“I would love to see them get back to where they were and then kick on from there,” Walker said.

“It was tough last season, chopping and changing the managers and the playing staff.

“There was no consistency to it. It was sad to see the club fall out of the Conference and I hope they can do it on Saturday.

“I’ve no hard feelings to anyone at the club. I spoke to Matty Brown the day after the second-leg and congratulated him.

“There are some great lads there like Matty, Kevin Roberts, Richard Peniket and Sam Johnson and I want to see them go on to get back to where they should be playing.”

Walker missed a penalty for Salford in the shoot-out with Halifax on Sunday, but felt the noise of the South Stand wasn’t the decisive factor.

He added: “Because you are that focused on what you are doing you block it out. I’m sure the Halifax lads would say the same.

“The state of the penalty area was the main thing for me because it was soft under foot, so when you planted your standing foot, it gave way a bit.

“The Halifax fans made some great noise from the South Stand. That could have crept it to affect some of the lads but it didn’t matter too much to me.

“I knew what was coming, I was expecting it. I’d been taking a lot of corners down that end and getting plenty of stick.

“I can’t really explain why Halifax scored three and we missed three. If I could have picked three of our players to take them, I’d have picked those three, and I think 95 per cent of the other lads would have as well.

“I’m the main penalty taker, Ritchie Allen is the second penalty taker and James Poole always fancies himself in those situations.

“Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t.”