FC Halifax Town: Edwards hopes more goals will come after ending barren run

Jonathan Edwards FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax
Jonathan Edwards FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

If Jonathan Edwards’ New Year’s resolution was to score more goals, then he’s made a perfect start.

The Town striker came off the bench to equalise in dramatic fashion against Harrogate on New Year’s Day - his first goal in 26 games since scoring the winner in the 2-1 win over Dagenham and Redbridge at The Shay on August 18.

Edwards started his Town career with two goals in his first five appearances before his barren run.

“I just kept trying to get into the right positions, and eventually it will go in, so that’s all I did, and happily it went in,” he said of his goal in midweek.

Would he have believed his goal against Dagenham would have been his last in 2018 at the time?

“No, definitely not. Not with the way I felt having played a lot more, being more positive and confident, I didn’t think this (run without scoring) would happen, but I’m just happy to get the monkey off my back and start the year well.”

When asked why the goals had dried up for him, Edwards said: Maybe rushing at things a lot more, or maybe me being too relaxed.

“Every striker has a spell where they dry up, so it was just about getting through it and keep staying as positive as I can, keep getting the positions and eventually it will go in.

“There are days that are quite challenging. A lot of people don’t see what you do outside of a Saturday or a Tuesday night, so it is quite challenging, mentally and physically.

“But as long as you believe then that’s all you can do. Anything’s possible if you believe.”

After a bit of bad luck in-front of goal, Edwards had a quick check first before celebrating on Tuesday.

“I’ve scored a couple of goals that have been offside, so my first thought was to look across the line and I saw it had been given so I was just buzzing after that.”

Edwards is hoping his goal will be the first of more to come.

“It will give me confidence in my mind that I’ve done it, the monkey’s off my back, so I’m just going to go out there and enjoy it more, be more relaxed, and keep getting in the positions like I have done,” he said.

“There’s going to be times when I miss - I will miss more than I score - but as long as I score goals then that’s all that matters.”

The former Peterborough and Hull forward admits there have been “a lot of ups and downs” so far this season for him.

“I thought I started well, got a couple of goals and my performances weren’t bad.

“Then it’s just getting through that dry spell. I haven’t been starting for a while so that’s been tough mentally, but every day I’ve just got to keep going, keep showing I want to be in the team.

“I think I did that on Tuesday, so we’ll see what happens, and I’ll just keep doing what I have to do to get in the team.”

Edwards only turned 22 in November and says this season is the most games he has played since his time in youth football.

“In men’s football this is the first season where I’ve played (regularly), and probably the most I’ve started, so it’s still new to me,” he said.

“But it’s good that I feel settled somewhere, I know I’m not going to move anywhere, I’m just focused on what I need to do for myself and for the team.”

Edwards feels he has developed since joining Halifax in the summer.

“I feel like I’ve learned a lot, a lot more about the movement of a striker and the tactical side of it,” he said.

“I always knew how important it was to get three points but now I’ve seen the reality because people are fighting for their livelihoods, they’ve got families to feed.

“It’s been good and I feel like I’ve developed.”

Looking ahead to 2019, Edwards said: “I hope it brings me more goals than 2018 for starters!

“More game time, but just for the team to do well because we have been doing well with recent results and the Christmas period hasn’t been bad.

“We just need to keep working every day and in the games we need to keep the level of spirit, even when we go behind, that we can come back into it and get points.

“I feel that if we can go on a run then who knows what can happen.”