Woking 2-3 FC Halifax Town: Wild delighted after "dogged away performance" earns Shaymen victory

Town manager Pete Wild said his side showed they can win ugly after their 3-2 victory at Woking.

Saturday, 28th August 2021, 5:53 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th August 2021, 5:56 pm
Pete Wild

The Shaymen came out on top in an entertaining clash, with goals from debutant Jesse Debrah, Martin Woods and Billy Waters to register their first win of the season.

"We went with a 3-4-3 today, because that's how we want to play our second system," said Wild.

"We thought with their physicality and their height that we'd need some extra bodies for set-pieces, so we wanted to try and fill the midfield area out of possession and make sure we had more in the backline.

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"I thought we got caught outa few times last week because of the opposition's physicality.

"You know when you come to Woking you have to weather their early storm because that's one of their big things is they always start well.

"Then we get the goal against the run of play, but playing the way we play.

"It's a great finish by Jesse, I didn't know he could kick it with his left foot!

"I'm really pleased for him.

"We all know it's not a pen (for Woking's equaliser), it's quite clear it's not a pen, everybody knows it. It took him that long to give it, and he hasn't booked Naz (Niall Maher), there's so many things that tell you it's not a pen.

"That gives them a bit of impetus but what's really good to see is we get down the sides of them, Warby (Matt Warburton) gets in the right area, and Woodsy (Martin Woods) is between the sticks.

"We've been talking all week to them about when they get down the sides, squaring it and not just trying to shoot, and they have done, so the pleasing thing is they've listened.

"I said at half-time that the first 20 minutes (of the second-half) would decide who won the game, and it did.

"We started well, we should have scored a fourth, and it would have been all over.

"They are going to come after you at 3-1, and we sustained a lot of pressure.

"I'm sure everybody thinks we're pretty little Halifax who just play football now, well we've shown today we can win ugly, and we've defended our box resolutely.

"We've been aggressive, we've put bodies on the line and we've shown we can do that side of it, which is as pleasing as me wanting us to be a football side."

Wild added: "It's a dogged away performance which shows we can go away from home and withstand a lot of pressure and go and hit teams on the break and score goals."

On the change in formation, Wild said: "I think both systems need tweaking, they're not perfect, they've got areas that need to be better, but that's this time of the season.

"Because we missed two friendlies I think we're a little bit behind the eight ball, but over the next two or three weeks we'll try to get better at that."

Debrah marked his debut with a stunning opening goal, and produced an impressive display at the back.

"I thought he did well, he was aggressive, he won his headers," said Wild. "He's got areas he needs to polish but he's a 20-year-old centre-half, of course he's got areas he needs to polish.

"But the fact he's put in that performance today and scored that goal will hopefully give him confidence and a chance to crack on."

The Town boss was booked in the second-half by referee Elliott Swallow, who gave Woking a controversial penalty for their equaliser.

"Dissent apparently," Wild said when asked what the yellow card was for. "It's off our throw in and he booked me because I don't give the ball back when he's wrong."

On the importance of the win, the Town boss said: "We all know how important the first three points are, and to win away from home.

"It's what we should have got last week. We probably deserved a draw today and got a win, and we probably deserved a win last week and got nothing.

"That's footy, it balances itself out."