FC Halifax Town: Response was excellent, says Kelly after Altrincham win

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Town boss Darren Kelly got the response he wanted after Halifax’s 7-1 horror show as his side beat Altrincham 3-1.

Kelly recorded only his second win in management, and only Town’s second win of the season thanks to a brace from Jordan Burrow and Kingsley James last-gasp penalty.

It was Town’s first away win since March and only the second time they’ve scored three goals in a game in 31 matches.

Kelly said: “I thought we were exceptional, especially the first 30 minutes.

“We came out and showed the good quality I was hoping to get out of Saturday and we got that tonight.

“I thought we played some fantastic stuff and we created some fantastic opportunities.

“Overall, I think we totally deserved to win the game and it’s a great boost for the lads.

“At 1-0 up we were totally in control of the game, then we conceded.

“I was very interested then how the players would respond, how their character would be and they were excellent.

“They responded positively and took the game to them.

“Overall, I’m absolutely delighted, I couldn’t ask for any more from the boys, they put in a shift, they’re in the changing room knackered, but extremely happy we’ve got three points.”

Kelly is determined that Town build on their win and use it as a catalyst for an upturn in form.

“After the game (on Saturday) sometimes you have to hit home the honest truths and they are where we are in the league - at the end of the day, the league doesn’t lie,” he said.

“It’s about time we stood up and be counted.

“It’s important, if we want to be ambitious, that you go and win your games.

“After Saturday we had a good chat, we responded positively so it’s important we don’t stop here.

“I’ve said to the players that the season starts here. It’s important our standards are high and we take this on into Saturday and hopefully get three points again.”

Kelly stressed the value of Halifax scoring first in the game, only the second time that has happened this season.

“It was very important,” he said. “From a psychological point of view, coming after Saturday, it gives you a great boost, that little bit of belief and confidence back.

“They really excelled from there. It’s just disappointing we conceded; I like clean sheets.

“But we showed great character to get back into it and overall, there were spells Altrincham had but we weathered them.

“I’m absolutely delighted for the players. They deserved that, they worked hard for themselves, for each other, for the supporters who travelled down.

“I thought they were exceptional. The voice from behind the net getting behind their team - brilliant.”

Burrow drew praise from the Shaymen boss, who challenged the striker to score twice before the game.

“He’s been fantastic and I thought he was one of the shining lights on Saturday,” said Kelly.

“But it’s a team game. Yes, Jordan scored two. But I told him before the game I expected him to score two and he did.

“You also have to look at the delivery he received. I thought the ball in for the second goal was absolutely fantastic and that’s important.

“To play to his strengths you’ve got to get him the ball. He got the ball tonight and he’s scored two.”

Kelly admitted he wasn’t sure how Town would react to Damian Reeves’ equaliser for Altrincham, but was delighted at what he saw.

“My thoughts were ‘right, we’ve conceded, but how are the players going to react?’, he said.

“Are they going to drop their heads? Is it going to be another Saturday?

“But the players did the flip side of Saturday, they responded positively, showed great character and desire to get back into the game.

“We scored the second goal and I thought we dominated from there, then we got the third with the last kick of the game.

“That’s what we want, to be starting games well and finishing games well and we did that tonight.

“There’s nothing more we can ask of the players.”

Kelly was delighted at the level of commitment from his players, who recorded the club’s third win in their last 30 games.

He added: “I mentioned at half-time that there were a couple of tackles where the players put themselves on the line for the team.

“We spoke some harsh words after Saturday about the realisation of where we are.

“But it was important we responded from Saturday and I thought the players did that, and more.

“You could see that in their performance and how they battled.

“I demanded they won their individuals battles and they did that.

“When you have seven or eight players winning those individual battles, you have a good chance of winning the game.

“I thought we won all our battles and deserved the three points.”