FC Halifax Town: Win would set up a memorable weekend for midfielder James

Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kingsley James
Football - FA Cup - FC Halifax Town v Guiseley. Kingsley James

Kingsley James could be set for a weekend to remember if FC Halifax Town reach the FA Trophy final.

The midfielder is due to get married on Saturday, May 21 - one day before The Shaymen will be at Wembley for the first time in their history if they can get past Nantwich tomorrow.

James says the prospect of playing at the national stadium is a huge incentive for the Town squad, but that would be just one half of a memorable weekend for the former Chester player.

“it’s a massive motivation,” he said. “It’s the most realistic chance we’ve got as a group of players to get to Wembley.

“Anyone that sits in any changing room and says ‘it’s only the FA Trophy’ is telling fibs because any chance to go to Wembley in a cup final, it doesn’t matter what cup it’s in.

“It’d be some weekend if we do get there. They’re two massive days.

“The wedding was booked a long time ago so there’s nothing I can do.

“But we’ve just got to do everything we can to ensure we get to the final.

“My fiancée and I both booked it. I didn’t check when the final was but it’s usually sooner than when it is this year.

“I thought we’d be done and dusted by that point but it is what it is and I’ll just get myself down after the wedding day.

“It’d be a great weekend, especially if we went on and won it. It’d be the best weekend of my life. I’m looking forward to it.”

James was impressed by Nantwich in the first-leg last Saturday, but wants any lingering doubts over the result to be put to bed as quickly as possible tomorrow.

“We all knew they were going to work hard and they did,” he said. “They’ve got some clever footballers that made a lot of runs and made it difficult for us to mark them.

“But I think our quality showed in the end and we knew if we matched them for hard work then we should come out on top and we did.

“We’ve got to do that again on Saturday. We can’t rest on our laurels and think ‘we’ve got a two-goal advantage, we can stroll about and take it easy’, we can’t.

“We’ve got to put our foot on the gas, go again and make sure we put the game to bed early doors.”

Saturday’s game will be Halifax’s ninth in 29 days, an average of around one every three days, with James the only ever-present in the squad this season.

The midfielder admits he has felt the strain in recent outings.

“It’s a lot of games in a season,” he said. “It was my 44th last Saturday, which is a lot in a short period of time and there’s still another 12 to go.

“I’m going to be 50-odd plus if I play in the rest of the games. It is a lot and it does take it’s toll so I think we’ve got to bear that in mind as a team.

“We’ve done that in our performances. At Southport we knew it was going to be a lethargic performance.

“We’d had a tough game at Gateshead, 120 minutes on a heavy pitch in bad conditions, and we went to Southport and ground out a win - that shows the experience we’ve got in comparison to what we were doing at the start of the season when we were more expansive but we were leaking goals because we didn’t use our experience and nous.

“Now we’re putting performances in that maybe aren’t where we should be and we’re not happy with but we’ve ground out a result or two.

“At Nantwich we’ve put in a better performance and got a better result.”