FC Halifax Town 1-0 Pontefract Collieries: We got our rewards for sticking to the plan, says Wild after FA Cup win

Town manager Pete Wild said his side got their rewards for sticking to the plan after their 1-0 win over Pontefract in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:30 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Halifax will now be at home to Maidenhead in the first round after Jack Vale came off the bench to score the winner in the second-half.

"I thought we started with a really good tempo, an I thought we kept that tempo really well all evening," Wild said.

"We had four of five chances first-half, the keeper's been inspirational again for them.

"I don't think I've ever coached a game where you've got attack against defending seven, they had a back seven most of the first-half and a lot of the second-half.

"Like I said on Saturday, it's experiences we don't come up against in our league where teams just are low and you've got to try and break them down.

"I liken it to when you watch England against Andorra or Moldova and they just sit in, it's the same script and we've had to try and find a way to break them down.

"Again, we've got in behind them five, six, seven times but not got the goal, and then eventually we did, which was pleasing."

By half-time, Town had had eight shots on target compared to none from the visitors, and Wild said the message to his team was to stay patient.

"I appreciate fans are getting frustrated by us not just lumping it or slinging it in the box," Wild said.

"But we're not the biggest of sides and we don't work all week to do that, so we're not going to do it on matchday.

"Our style and our identity is there for everybody to see, we stick to the plan, the message at half-time was stick to the plan, I thought we did that, and we got our just rewards in the second-half."

Wild added: "We ended up going 4-2-4, but again you just need players in the box, and the more times you get players in the box, the more chance you've got of scoring goals.

"And we finally got there in the end."

On Pontefract, Wild said: "I think they're a fair credit to the manager, to the football club, I thought they were excellent.

"I thought they conducted themselves excellently in the two games, and they defended for their lives.

"I bet they're sore tonight and sore in the morning, but I want to give massive credit to Craig (Rouse, manager) and his team, I thought they tested us in ways that we don't really get in our league."

Vale scored his first goal for Town since joining on loan from Blackburn.

"I'm really pleased for Jack, he's had a couple of false starts in terms of the ankle injury and then the concussion, and then being away with Wales," said Wild.

"We've been desperate to get some time with him to get him off the mark.

"We've sat down and come up with a plan with him before kick-off tonight, so it was dead pleasing for him to score the winner.

"I'm sure he had a wry smile coming off the pitch tonight."

On the first round clash with Maidenhead, Wild said: "They only seem to come here and win, so we've got some wrongs to put right in that game.

"You want a home tie, we're pleased with a home tie, and we'll give it our all to try and get to the second round."

Wild also provided an injury update on defender Jesse Debrah.

"Jesse came back from the knee injury that he sustained against Southend, trained all week with it, but during the game (at Pontefract) he felt restricted in his movements, that was visible for everybody to see," said the Town boss.

"He's reported Sunday saying that the knee feels sore again.

"We're hopeful of him back for Saturday, we've been doing a lot of work with him, and hopefully we can get him right for Saturday."

But the news was less positive about midfielder Luke Summerfield.

"The knee's just not settling down, he had an injection in it, he's still feeling a lot of pain in it," Wild said.

"He went to see a consultant yesterday and he's got a couple of options. We're going to sit down on Thursday and discuss which is the best option for Luke, for the club and for his career."

Read more from the Town boss in Thursday's Halifax Courier.