FC Halifax Town: We were unlucky to lose at Chester, says Town boss

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FC Halifax Town boss Darren Kelly felt his side were unfortunate not to nick a draw after they lost 2-1 at Chester.

The hosts went 2-0 ahead through James Roberts and Johnny Hunt before Jordan Burrow’s 11th goal of the season almost sparked a late fightback.

It was Town’s 12 defeat of the season and leaves them six points adrift of safety, but Kelly was encouraged by The Shaymen’s display.

“For large spells of the game I was very happy with our play.

“There are bits we want to work on and improve on.

“We hate conceding goals and we aim for clean sheets.

“There’s a lot of work to be done but the good thing is we have a clear week now for the first time to work on aspects of our play, starting from the back.

“Overall, even though a defeat’s a defeat, when we went 2-0 down we showed great character to come back into the game.

“I thought for the majority of the second-half we dominated and we really had a go, rather than the heads dropping like they’ve done in previous games.

“It’s something to build on. We showed effort with a bit of quality and we really took the game to Chester in the second-half and we were unlucky not to come away with something.”

Kelly was pleased with debutant Nat Brown’s performance after he joined from Lincoln on a month’s loan.

“He was excellent, he didn’t lose a header,” said Kelly.

“He caused a few problems in their box as well, where he caused a few problems.

“He’s very good aerially, he’s a communicator, he’s a talker, he’s a leader, which I think the team needs.

“We’re building foundations, there’s a lot of work ahead. But overall it was a pleasing performance by the players, but we’ve got to turn that into wins.

“It’s OK going out and playing some good stuff but we’ve got to turn them good performances into wins.”

Kelly also revealed how he sees former Sunderland and Ipswich midfielder Tommy Miller fitting into his team, with the 36-year-old not featuring at Chester as he wasn’t registered in time.

“I’m not looking for Tommy to be a box-to-box player, just marshalling the midfielders and giving them licence to run free and marshalling the defence and making sure we don’t concede sloppy goals,” he said.

Kelly was impressed by Burrow’s contribution, but warned other players must start scoring too.

“He could have had more but for some fine saves from the keeper,” Kelly said.

“But we can’t rely on Jordan all the time. He’s been excellent but we need other people to chip in with goals.

“We need people in other areas, defence, midfield and attack, to provide goals as well, that’s important.”

Kelly said more signings could be added to the squad, and is keen for there to be more options available at the club.

“We’re working very hard on that,” he added.

“We are where we are for a reason, changes have to be made.

“The best way to fix it is to get personnel in who can compete and challenge the players.

“At times you can have one player for one position and there’s no competition and you can take your foot off the pedal.”