FC Halifax Town: Set-pieces could be our route to goal, says Harvey

Jim Harvey
Jim Harvey

Jim Harvey feels Halifax’s threat from set-pieces could be a route to goal in Sunday’s FA Trophy final against Grimsby.

The Town boss watched The Mariners in last weekend’s National League play-off final against Forest Green, and was impressed by them as they won 3-1 to earn promotion to League Two.

But Harvey, who revealed his regret at not signing a replacement for striker Shaun Tuton after his departure to Barnsley in January, feels his side can get the better of Grimsby at set-pieces.

“Grimsby are pretty strong all over the park.

“They’re hard working, well organised and strong defensively,” Harvey said.

“They’ve got a good goalscorer in (Padraig) Amond and power and strength in Bogle.

“Their two wingers on Sunday, and especially (Nathan) Arnold, looked clever on the day.

“He came on against us at the Shay as substitute and I thought he did really well. He was their stand-out player at Wembley.

“Jon Nolan is also a clever footballer.

“But I feel aerially we are a stronger side and if we can get our delivery right then we’re capable of scoring from set-pieces.

“In free play we’re hard to break down.

“We created lots of chances this season but our problem was taking them.

“It’s whether we can take them - that’s the question I can’t answer at the moment.

“But we’ve improved enormously defensively since I came in from a team that hadn’t had a clean sheet in 30-odd games.

“But since Tuton was sold, the goals dried up and in hindsight it was a big loss.

“I have to hold my hands up and say at that time I should have recruited, that was probably a mistake.

“We had Burrow and Peniket, but he didn’t score and Jordan dried up as well.

“Then it comes down to injury time in the last game and the width of a post that’s put us down.

“We had a good run and we’d have been a mid-table side if our run had been taken over the course of a season.

“Now we just have one game to finish it off and give everybody a good day out.”

Harvey noticed some players suffering from cramp in last Sunday’s play-off final, and is concerned his team don’t suffer the same fate by not getting too excited about the game during the build-up to the final.

“There were quite a few players pulling up on the hour and onwards with cramp,” Harvey said.

“That’s usually a sign that nervous energy has been wasted in the build up, then they’re dehydrated, so I hope our boys don’t get too heated before the game.

“They need to try and keep it calm and normal.

“/going away a couple of days beforehand and training at MK Dons, then Barnet, then going to Wembley, is not normal.

“But there are boys who’ve played there - Kevin Roberts and Nicky Wroe - so they will be fine, but you’re not always sure how the younger ones will get on.

“My first couple of games there were a blur.

“I remember travelling on the coach and all the preparation beforehand but the match itself was a blur.

“The message is to play the game, not the occasion. But it’s very hard to tell someone that when they’re going out to play at Wembley.

“It’s a schoolboy dream and the atmosphere, the crowd, the place itself, waving to your mum and dad in the crowd - all these things build to a climax and you just hope it doesn’t explode and take away all your energy.

“Hopefully we can contain that and still put a performance in but that won’t be easy for the younger boys.”