FC Halifax Town: Got the result we deserved, says Harvey after Grimsby win

FC Halifax Town v Grimsby. Jim Harvey
FC Halifax Town v Grimsby. Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey said his FC Halifax Town side thoroughly deserved their 4-2 win over Grimsby as The Shaymen climbed out of the National League relegation zone.

Three goals in 20 first-half minutes from Billy Whitehouse, James Bolton and Nicky Wroe put Town in control before Jake Hibbs added the late gloss.

Grimsby beat Town 7-0 in the reverse fixture in October, but Harvey was ecstatic his side were able to put that result right.

“I thought it was a great game,” he said. “The boys were excellent, everything went according to plan.

“We knew it was going to be a really tough game going on the performance they put in when it was 7-0 to them.

“But we came up with a performance that was up to the task and we got a result we deserved.

“We worked really well and the goals were excellent. We’re delighted.”

Doncaster loanee Whitehouse scored his first ever senior goal to get Town up and running, and Harvey was impressed by the winger’s contribution.

“He’s had a really good game,” Harvey said. “Today, in all honesty, I was struggling to pick a team.

“It’s given me more headaches this week trying to organise a team to go out and play than any other selection.

“The boys justified my decisions. The bench was very strong today. There were two or three who didn’t even make the bench, so that’s encouraging that we can go forward with a strong squad.

“The goals gave come from everywhere and Billy’s had an exceptional debut, but there were lots of really good performances out there.”

Kevin Roberts especially caught the eye playing at centre-back, and also drew praise from Harvey.

“He played for me at Chester a few years back and played at centre-half and he was excellent there so I know his ability,” said the Town boss.

“I could ask him to play anywhere in the park and he might not get a 10 but her’d be a good seven every week. He doesn’t let you down and he’s a really solid lad.

“It’s a good position for him. He’s intelligent, he reads it well and for a smaller boy he leaps extremely well and he’s good in the air.”

Roberts was part of an excellent defensive display from Town, which included his clearance off the line in teh first-half, shortly followed by a superb save from goalkeeper Sam Johnson.

Speaking about that save, from striker Padraig Amond’s header, Harvey said: “There were three of their attackers waiting to pounce there and you think ‘who’s marking there?’

“There’s plenty of room for our team to improve their defending and marking but they’ve done really well.

“Kev was in a good position, reading the game and has cleared the ball.

“But we were pretty solid up until the last (few minutes). The goalkeeper had been catching all day and he looked terrific and then he had a couple of silly moments when he wanted to punch and you think if he’d caught the ball we wouldn’t have been in any trouble.

“Luckily enough we’d scored enough goals at the other end.”

Harvey also felt the game also saw an improved showing from midfield duo Wroe and Kingsley James.

“Him and Kingsley in the last few games perhaps haven’t been hitting the heights so it was a tough game going into it for those two boys,” he said.

“Nicky’s come up with the goal, Kingsley’s created a couple and in general they’ve done a really good job.

“But I thought Nicky, with us having another game on Tuesday and things coming thick and fast, we’d give him a little breather in the last 15 minutes.”

Hibbs’ first Halifax goal, a stunning 25-yard free-kick, sealed the win late on.

Harvey added: “It’s a tremendous strike. I wasn’t sure who was going to hit this.

“Sam Walker normally takes them but on the bench they were all saying ‘don’t worry’ and Hamza was saying on the pitch ‘don’t worry’ because Hibbsy’s all over this.

“It was a terrific strike. I’m still getting to know the players but apparently he has that in his locker where he can hit this free-kick regularly.”