"There's no other words to describe it other than bitterly disappointed" - Warburton on Shaymen's play-off exit to Chesterfield

The pain was freshly inflicted, the dejection only just having set in.

By Tom Scargill
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 3:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 3:31 pm

In the tunnel at The Shay, after FC Halifax Town's exit from the National League play-offs following their 2-1 defeat to Chesterfield, Matty Warburton tried to translate his despondency into words.

A season that promised and delivered so much, having just been brought to a crashing halt.

"There's no other words to describe it other than bitterly disappointed to be honest," said the attacker, who has produced an excellent first season at Halifax, so much so that there are surely clubs out there who would like to make it his last too.

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Matty Warburton after Town's defeat to Chesterfield on Tuesday night. Photo: Marcus Branston

"We've set out to achieve a goal this year and ultimately fallen short.

"It's probably the most dejected dressing room I've ever been in."

The game was still too recent, the emotions still too raw, for Warburton to have properly processed it all.

In his initial judgement, Warburton admitted that Town hadn't been at their best.

"I don't know to be honest," he said when asked if he felt it was a fair result. "I'd have to watch it back to be able to give you an honest answer to that, because when you're caught up in a frantic game for 90 minutes, you always think you should come out on top, but I'd have to look at it back.

"We didn't create enough chances, and ultimately they took theirs.

"It's one of them where they've probably stopped us from playing and we've not really been the best version of ourselves."

Despite the bitter disappointment, Warburton felt nothing but pride at Halifax's season as a whole, and to be part of the squad that produced a terrific campaign.

"We've punched above our weight massively this year, financially, but not in terms of who we've got in that dressing room," he said.

"We haven't punched above our weight in the dressing room, you look around and see the calibre of the players we've got, they're up there with some of the best in the league, best characters not just best players.

"All in all, a very good season but we set out to achieve something this year and we've fallen short.

"Everyone in that dressing room's gutted, from staff through to players.

"But in terms of the season itself on the whole, if you're going to look back on it in a few months' time or whatever, you'd say it's a really good year for Halifax Town and really enjoyable for everyone involved.

"I don't want to speak on behalf of the players, but I think everyone's thoroughly enjoyed this year, the way we play, the way we all get on, and it's just a real disappointing end."

As well as reflecting on the season just gone, thoughts will inevitably turn to next season at The Shay, and even in the midst of his stinging disappointment, Warburton could see plenty of silver linings on the cloud.

"I'm not even giving next season a second thought yet, this season feels like it's gone on for years and years," he said.

"I've not even started thinking about next season yet but how can you not take positives from this year?

"Whether that's from the increased attendances, the fans coming through the doors (against Chesterfield) were excellent, as they have been all season, that's a positive.

"The lads we've got in the dressing room, that's a positive, the management team - I feel like the club's on an upward trajectory at the minute.

"Obviously there's loads of positives to take into next year, but a lot to learn from and I'm sure we'll do that."