Maidenhead 0-1 FC Halifax Town: "We controlled the game from start to finish" says boss Wild

Pete Wild
Pete Wild

FC Halifax Town boss Pete Wild said his side controlled the game from start to finish after their 1-0 win at Maidenhead sent them back to the top of the National League.

Liam McAlinden's first-minute goal was enough to seal the win against a poor Maidenhead team.

"I thought we controlled the game from start to finish, with the ball and without the ball, which was pleasing," said Wild.

"We dominated possession, we had a lot of possession in their half, which for me is crucial.

"But without the ball, we made sure that we made play predictable, we forced them one way.

"And when they did go long, we won our headers.

"Coming to places like this, if you're half a yard off it, these are the places you come unstuck.

"So to come away with a clean sheet and a controlled, professional performance like that was really pleasing."

Wild thought Town could have scored two or three in the first-half.

"I thought we looked really lively and a threat," he said. "Another goal would probably have killed their desire.

"But I never once felt nervous on the sideline that we were going to come unstuck. I thought we were comfortable.

"I think that's the first time you've seen us in a long while control 90 minutes of football.

"We're normally decent for one half and backs-against-the-wall for the other.

"But I thought we controlled the game for 90 minutes, which shows that the lads are taking on board what we're asking them to do."

On McAlinden's first-minute goal, Wild said: "It's a great strike. That's what he's been brought to the club to do.

"I'm really pleased. I think you can play him in any position in the front four, which is pleasing, and you know you're going to get a tune out of him.

"He's actually scored more goals playing wide than in the number 10 or number nine.

"That's something that helps us because we can rotate those lads around and make sure we've got some pace and creativity up there when we've done the hard work in our defensive third.

"He naturally goes off to the right in training but I was talking to Milly (Chris Millington) and saying 'let's try him off the right because he seems to score a lot of goals in training off the right'.

"So we thought we'd have a go in the last couple of games and it's worked for us."

Halifax have now registered back-to-back clean sheets following their 2-0 win against Dover the week before.

"Both on the road, which is really pleasing," said Wild. "But it's the manner of the clean sheet today - we controlled the game and we spoke about needing to do that.

"We'll need to do that in games coming up. They've proved to me that they can do it, so I now need to see that week-in, week-out."

On The Shaymen going back to the top of the table, Wild said: "I don't want to be top because you're there to be shot at.

"I keep saying it, everyone probably thinks I'm a stuck record, but we're only 15 games in.

"The league table's irrelevant yet. It's a third of the way through the season.

"To be top is pleasing but let's not get carried away, let's keep putting points on the board and see where that takes us."

Captain Matty Brown missed the game due to injury, Wild confirmed.

"He had a bit of a tweak of his hamstring, it just didn't feel right, so if it didn't feel right we're not rushing him back," added the Town boss.

"We'll assess him Monday and see what he's like for Tuesday."