Belford reflects on derby day win

Hinckley AFC manager Dale Belford said his side’s head of steam built up in the second half of yesterday’s derby win over Leicester Road made them difficult to stop.

AFC fund themselves a goal down at the break through Greg Downes’ first half header in a 45 minutes where neither side really hit their straps.

But AFC bossed the game after half time, controlling possession, territory and chances as they turned the game on its head.

The former Tamworth boss, in his first home league game in charge, was full of praise for his side’s second half display. He said: “It was a fantastic game. You’ve got to give credit to both teams.

“I went to watch Leicester Road on Tuesday night against Heath Hayes and we knew it was going to be a tough game. That’s how it proved.

“Credit to them (Leicester Road) because they’ve come and had a go, but the second half was very much like the Walsall Wood game. We got a head of steam and were difficult to stop.”

Belford made three changes to the side that was narrowly beaten at Walsall Wood last week, which included changing the formation to play with three at the back. He reckoned that was part of the reason for their laboured start.

“We changed the formation and we took a while to settle down. Having watched them on Tuesday, I felt that if we got bodies forward, got the ball into the box and got at them, that we could cause them problems.

“It didn’t quite work, but we were patient. I always felt that if we could keep it to 1-0 at half time we could pen them in, which we did.”

The introduction of Kevin Thornton after half time immediately made Hinckley move the ball slicker. Belford said the former Coventry City man makes a difference despite not being fully fit,

“I’ve had Kev at a few clubs with me. I know what he’s capable of, but I’m also mindful of him not playing for seven months.

“But Kev does what he does. He’s unbelievable and has been for the last ten or 15 years. We’ve seen him today at his best and when he gets the ball, things happen.

Steve Hart scored another brace to take his tally to 15 in 12 games for the club, and Belford praised him alongside a fine team effort.

“Steve’s a good lad. We’ve had a couple of approaches for him, as everybody is aware, but he’s assured me he wants to stay and play his football here. That’s great for us. He’s always a goal threat.

“But it was a massive team effort today. The back three, and Ty as well in goal, were all incredible. They kept us in the game first half and that gave us a base to build on.

“We made a quick change at half time, which seemed to work. In the end I thought we were full credit for the result.”

The full video interview with Dale is on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/47t5B2SxWAw

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