Youth team coach Mark Trueman believes his FC Halifax Town side is improving in every round after they beat Guiseley in the FA Youth Cup.
The Shaymen won 3-2 to reach the third qualifying round, and will reach the first round proper if they beat Fylde at The Shay on Wednesday, October 19 (7.45pm).
Halifax went 3-0 up in the game on Wednesday - which had to be rearranged after the original match at Guiseley was abandoned due to floodlight failure - before the visitors fought-back to set-up a tense climax.
“I think it was a fair result,” Trueman reflected.
“We were leading in the game that got postponed and we were playing well at Guiseley before the lights went out.
“We knew they would come at us but I thought we controlled the game in the first half - that was probably the best we’ve played all season.
“We moved the ball well, defended well and broke the lines well.
“We scored twice in the first half and dominated.
“We knew they would come at us in the second half but we got through it and scored another, hitting them on the counter, which is what they were trying to do to us.
“Then we relaxed too much and invited pressure onto us.
“They got two goals back and made it a nervy end.”
Trueman is pleased with the progress his team is making on the pitch.
“It’s a new team but it’s coming together,” he said. “Each round the lads are getting to know each other more.
“They’re still learning the style of play I want them to play but they’re buying into it, and each game they’re improving.
“We’re asking them to break the lines going forward and they were better at that against Guiseley, and defensively we’re looking strong.
“We’re improving as a team each game, which we need to do because the games are only going to get harder.”
The game was watched by 252 fans at The Shay, and Trueman feels the support from the Town faithful can play an important role in the players’ development.
“It was a good turnout again,” Trueman said. “Each round we’ve played in we’re getting more and more fans, and I think they’re encouraged by the football we’re playing.
“From the feedback I’ve had the fans are pleased with how we move the ball. I think we’re good to watch and easy on the eye.
“It’s good to see the fans getting behind the youth team as well as the first team.
“We’re at home again in the next round so if we could get more fans again on Wednesday it would be good for the lads. If they’ve got ambitions to get into the first team they have to cope with the pressure from the fans.
“I think it’s helped the lads having that support.”
Fylde beat Barrow 4-1 to set-up the clash at The Shay, and Trueman is hoping Halifax can clear the final hurdle before the first round proper.
He added: “I don’t know much about them but I’m expecting a tough game.
“They’ll be organised and they’ll have some good players, but we just have to keep performing.
“It would be a good achievement if we get through (to the first round) and we could hopefully get a Football League team.
“It would be good for the club and good for the lads’ confidence.”