Marshall defends Brown, explains Johnston absence

Hooker Ryan Maneely touches down for Fax
Hooker Ryan Maneely touches down for Fax

Halifax coach Richard Marshall has defended winger Alex Brown’s performance in Sunday’s 18-6 defeat by Leigh although he stopped short of confirming the former Centurions player would hold his place for Sunday’s trip to table-topping Batley (3.0).

Brown’s opposite number Liam Kay scored both the visitors’ first half tries, and the Fax player almost conceded again in the second half, just grounding a kick in goal.

In between, Brown, who spent most of last season on loan at Batley, played strongly; hitting hard in defence and running the ball strongly.

“It’s never up to one person for me,” said Marshall, who has two wing options in last season’s regular starters Tommy Saxton and Gareth Potts.

“It’s about the people who didn’t get enough kick pressure on or didn’t get enough numbers around the ball as much as the winger.

“Wing is a very difficult position to defend, you’re very isolated.

“We’ve got a lot of options for those positions, but I’m not going to decide whether or not to select someone until we’ve reviewed the game in full this week.”

Marshall confirmed that half back Ben Johnston and forward Adam Robinson, neither of whom played, had both been carrying injuries, although the desire to see the Australian half back Matt Place in a competitive fixture had also been a factor.

“Ben had a hand injury; he could have played at a push, but I also wanted to have a look at Matt,” said Marshall.

“It wasn’t the easiest game for him to get involved in having come from overseas, playing on that pitch.

“There are things we can all do better, Matt included, but he put some good kicks in towards the end of the game that put them under a lot of pressure and if we’d got that in the first half things may have been slightly different.”