FC Halifax Town: Final score was harsh, reflects Kelly after cup exit

Darren Kelly
Darren Kelly

FC Halifax Town boss Darren Kelly felt the scoreline was harsh on his side after they lost 4-0 at home to Wycombe in the FA Cup first round,

Garry Thompson’s first-half opener was added to after the interval by goals from Sido Jombati, Max Kretzchmar and Aaron Amadi-Holloway.

Kelly said he was disappointed to be out and admitted the defending for some of Wycombe’s goals was poor, but felt there were positives they could take from the clash.

“Looking at our quality at times, you wouldn’t have know who the Football League team was if I’m being honest,” he said.

“When I first came in, we struggled in possession, but I thought we were excellent in possession.

“But maybe our discipline let us down in terms of the goals we conceded and I’ll take responsibility for that.

“When we went 2-0 down I needed to change it. I re-jigged the shape a bit.

“Even when they got the second goal I thought we were still on top.

“But when you take those risks they can backfire or it can go the opposite way and it can get you goals.

“Today it wasn’t to be and it cost us a 4-0 defeat.”

Town came closest at 2-0 down when substitute Shaun Tuton forced keeper Matt Ingram into a fine save, and Kelly said had that gone in, his team could have fought back.

“At 2-0 Shaun Tuton had a good chance and if we’d scored that, who knows?”, he said.

“We had a chance at 1-0 and if we’d scored that, who knows how they’d have reacted?

“It would’ve been good to have tested their character if we’d scored and seen how they’d have reacted.

“Would their heads have gone down with a team from non-league scoring against them?

“But it wasn’t to be. The scoreline is what it is. We’ll take it on the chin and get on with it but we’ll take the positives into the next game.”

The Town boss was happy with debutant Russell Griffiths’ display, although the 19-year-old goalkeeper is set to miss Saturday’s home game with Braintree as he will be on international duty with the England under 20’s team.

“I thought he did well,” Kelly said. “It was difficult for him in the respect that he’s just come in this week so he doesn’t know all the players’ names.

“It was a good test for him but now we’ll lose him for next week’s game.”

Kelly insisted he saw enough from his team to suggest they can start to climb the National League table if they reproduce their performance from the Wycombe defeat.

“I detest negativity,” he added. “There’s a certain way you can word things and I’m not one of those managers who’ll go in (to the dressing room) and rant and rave.

“I’m proud of the players today and there’s a lot to take into next week’s game.

“We played as a team, some our penetration and passes were very good, their keeper pulled off a couple of good saves as well.

“A lot of our set-pieces were very good which we created some good opportunities from.

“When we produce this in the league and we create that winning mentality and confidence is high, I think we’ll be unstoppable.”