Harrogate 0-3 FC Halifax Town: Heath praises ‘exceptional’ Town performance at Harrogate

Billy Heath. Picture Tony Johnson.
Billy Heath. Picture Tony Johnson.

Town boss Billy Heath said his side were “exceptional” after they cruised to a 3-0 win at Harrogate on Easter Monday.

Two goals from Matty Kosylo and one from Dion Charles cemented Town’s place in the play-offs, leaving them just one win from guaranteeing a top-five finish.

“I thought the first-half was fantastic,” said Heath. “We controlled the game for all of the first-half, we didn’t really look like conceding at any point and we played some really good stuff.

“No disrespect to Harrogate but the half-time score and the full-time score should have been a lot more.

“They had a bit more of the ball in the second-half and put us under more pressure, which you’re going to get because you can’t dominate a full game, but I was pleased with the third goal and we should have had a few more.”

Heath felt the first goal, which arrived from Kosylo after just 10 minutes, was crucial in establishing Town’s dominance.

“The first goal just settles everyone down because there’s a lot of pressure, but the players have handled that pressure in the two games over the Easter period,” Heath said.

“We know we should have got something out of Fylde but it was massively important for us to bounce back and we were exceptional. I thought the players were fantastic, all of them, the people that came off the bench, the people that started.”

Heath was delighted with the displays by Kosylo and Charles, who both starred in the win.

“Both of them played really well,” he said.”The surface suits them, we know that, but what was pleasing again was the way the players dealt with it. We had two changes forced on us, which seems to have been a recurring theme from day one, but it didn’t seem to affect us at all. We were fluent, we were quick, we broke at pace, we defended really solidly and just dominated the match.”

Heath praised his whole side for their performance, and was delighted by all departments.

“It’s no coincidence when we play on this surface we leave Tom Denton on the bench, because of Peniket’s strength, movement and pace, it’s horses for courses, and we played with two out-and-out wide-men today and both were excellent,” he said.

“I thought Jordan Sinnott was fantastic. His range of passing and his choices were fantastic, and backed up by Liam King and Lynchy doing the work they need to do.

“Liam played the full game when lesser people wouldn’t have, but we’re at the business end and he wants to play. The front men will always get the plaudits but Kevin Roberts and Josh Wilde were magnificent, I don’t think they put a foot wrong all game. I thought Scott Garner was fantastic dealing with Simon Ainge and we won the game comfortably.”

The game also saw the return to action of Scott McManus after almost a year out of action with a cruciate ligament injury.

“Really nice for Scott,” added Heath. “He came in and did a job. We said to go sit in central midfield because we were worried about Lynchy, he was on a booking and he looked very tired, even at half-time.

“Scott’s been out since he scored the goal at Wembley and it’s a reward for him because he’s not near fully fit, he can’t be. That’s his first 20 minutes, but now it’s about people wanting to put a shift in and everybody putting themselves on the line for the team.”