FC Halifax Town: Skipper Brown is among the best I’ve played alongside, says Clarke

Football - FC Halifax Town v Braintree. Nathan Clarke for Halifax.
Football - FC Halifax Town v Braintree. Nathan Clarke for Halifax.

Town’s Nathan Clarke says centre-back partner Matty Brown is among the best defenders he has played alongside.

The pair have only been on the losing side seven times in the 25 league games they have started together, helping to keep 10 clean sheets in those matches.

Matty Brown, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

Matty Brown, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

Clarke said of the partnership: “It’s quality. He’s so strong, so physical, good talker, good captain.

“He’s a pleasure to play alongside. As you can imagine I’ve played with a lot of centre-halves, and he’s right up there.

“He reads the game really well. He’s not just a big lad who’ll get stuck in.

“He’s a good captain to play under.”

Clarke should know what he’s talking about, after all, this is the 35-year-old’s 18th season in senior football, and he believes foundation of any good side is built on its defence.

“I think it’s got to be. The good teams I’ve played in before, you look at your back two as being the link to the rest of the team, and if we’re solid, it hopefully breeds confidence throughout the team that we’re not going to concede, we’re going to win our headers and we’re going to get stuck in.

“I’m here to do as well as I can for Halifax, and I’m glad me and Browny have linked-up.”

Clarke felt Town played really well in their 0-0 draw with Salford last Saturday, a game in which The Shaymen were the superior side but couldn’t find a winner.

Has that been the story of too many games this season?

“Certainly in the last month,” said Clarke. “We feel as a team that we’re linking up well, we’re playing really well in certain areas, but it’s just that finishing point, which is always the difficult bit, to find the goals.

“Teams are certainly defending well against us. It’s getting to that part of the season where bodies are getting thrown on the line.

“We’ve got to find a different way of trying to break that down.”

Does Clarke feel Town have turned a corner recently?

“I hope so yeah. We said after the Salford game that we feel someone’s due getting a 3-0 or a 4-0 against them the way we’re playing.

“We’ve just got to keep going picking up these points and pushing in the right direction to where we want to be.

“I think it’s coming together, it’s just finishing that final move off or capitalising on when we are on top.

“We had about four or five corners at one stage (against Salford) and it’s just keeping teams under pressure and hoping we can break teams down and get the result we need.

“But I’ve been impressed with the lads’ attitude. We’ve got a fully fit squad now, everybody’s vying for places, and I think that’s helped.

“It’s keeping everyone on their toes and ready for the next game.”