FC Halifax Town: Roberts out to avoid cup upset at Matlock

Vanarama National League.'FC Halifax v Altrincham.'Halifax's Kevin Roberts.'26th March 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Vanarama National League.'FC Halifax v Altrincham.'Halifax's Kevin Roberts.'26th March 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Town defender Kevin Roberts is hoping last weekend’s defeat at Curzon will spur on The Shaymen to avoid a cup upset at Matlock tomorrow.

Halifax fell to a disappointing defeat last Saturday against a Curzon team who finished the game with only eight men after three sendings-off in the second-half.

Roberts is wary about a possible upset at Matlock, who are sixth in the Evo-Stik North Premier Division.

“It’s a potential banana skin, especially after we’ve just been beaten at the weekend,” Roberts said.

“Everyone expected us to win that game, and I thought we’d learned enough lessons this season in previous games, but obviously not.

“We weren’t at the races, we were second to absolutely everything.

“And they punished us because they can play football when you give them the chance.

“We couldn’t get near them in the first-half, that’s where we lost the game really.

“The second-half was one of the weirdest halves I’ve been involved in.

“But hopefully that result will give us a kick up the backside and get us ready for Saturday.”

Roberts says the team must put in a much-improved showing at Matlock if they want to mount a defence of the trophy they won in May.

“It’s about working harder than them and having 11 players getting at least a seven out of 10 performance,” he said.

“I don’t think anyone had that on Saturday, and unless you have at least seven or eight players doing that, you’re going struggle.

“We need to get back to basics and get our performance levels back to where they need to be.”

Roberts and Josh Macdonald are likely to be the only starters on Saturday who began the FA Trophy final in May.

The defender says that victory is a career highlight for him, but doesn’t feel going into the tie as the holders makes Town any more determined to win.

“We want to win on Saturday whether we’re the holders or not,” Roberts added. “Whether it makes Matlock more determined to knock us out, we’ll have to see.

“My main memory of the Wembley is probably running 50 yards to celebrate with Scott McManus after he scored and jumping all over him!

“I’d probably say it’s the top of my list in terms of career high points, because the other two times I won at Wembley (with Cambridge), we were expected to.

“But the odds were against it with Halifax.

“We owed it to people to win and we put pressure on ourselves to repay people after getting relegated.

“We shouldn’t have been relegated with the squad we had. We definitely underachieved so we knew we had to produce at Wembley.”