FC Halifax Town recorded a 2-1 win over fellow Yorkshire side Harrogate Town. Goals from Nathan Clarke and Dayle Southwell were enough to the Shaymen the victory.
Jamie Fullarton gave his thoughts following the good result.
He said: “It was thoroughly deserved. I think over the 95 minutes, I thought we had a game plan which the players executed, and we were the better team throughout. Just defining moments in the first half, with the great chance that we had, it resulted in us not going ahead when we probably deserved to. Then we had a set-piece from them where they’re a threat from that because of how they play. They’re flying high in the league and with some great results and performances from what I’ve seen, so to go in 1-0 down at half-time was disappointing on the first half showing. A little bit of faith and belief in what we were doing and great credit to the players who came out deserved winners.”
Halifax created several good chances with the best falling to Dayle Southwell as a good break saw the Shaymen go through on goal, but Southwell couldn’t take his chance as the shot was saved. Despite this, Fullarton was happy with how the team created chances.
He said: “From a coach’s point of view, the important factors are between the boxes. You look to work on things to create those opportunities and when they’re in there, the baton passes to the players to deliver. But if you look, that belief in what he is trying to do and how we’re trying to play, he got a second and third chance which eventually resulted in a winner late on.”
Callum Howe netted Harrogate’s only goal of the day. The defender scored from a set-piece, something Halifax have a good record from. For Fullarton it was disappointing to see the side concede but he was pleased to see a goal from a set-piece for ourselves.
He said: “It’s always disappointing. The amount of time and energy the players spend on the training field working on attacking and defending, but it’s a flip of the coin there because we’ve also scored from a set-piece. In modern football, set-pieces are a large proportion of goals scored so whilst we are organised and structured in what we are doing, you’ve got to give credit to them for the delivery and for their finish.”
Ben Tomlinson, who is making his way back from injury, provided the assist for Town’s first goal. Fullarton was delighted to see his substitute make an impact.
He said: “Before Ben got injured, he was a big contributor to not only set-pieces, but in general play and is synonymous in what we are trying to do in terms of attitude towards the game. Obviously, he has been out for a length of time, and that is where patience must come in, and a little bit of management from myself because there is nothing more than I want to see other than Ben starting every game. But his contribution, not just for the set-piece, but his energy and desire were systematic of what how we approach the game. In the second half.”
Following a disappointing first half that saw Halifax 1-0 down, Town came out much the better side in the second. During the half time break, Fullarton corrected a few of the issues and was much happier with the second half performance.
He said: “You’ve got to give players credit. Whatever we think of the players, whether it be academically as they have a reputation for not being the brightest, they are very astute and based on the first half they were disappointed. We corrected one or two aspects during half time, so when we approach the second half, we get a foot hold and made it pay more which I felt in the final third, with the link play between the strikers and the wide men, I think it worked. In defence we looked accomplished and astute with what we were doing.”
During the second half, Halifax rarely looked threatened as the centre back pairing of Clarke and Matty Brown proved successful. Fullarton was quick to point out the performance of the entirety of the back line in giving Town a win.
He said: “What is important is that we have those square pegs and square holes. They were colossuses today, not to mention full backs as well as the whole shape and the plan that the players implemented to the point that we’re sitting here, talking about three points gained.”
Town left it late to clinch the win as Southwell netted in the 88th minute. Despite this, Fullarton doesn’t mind when the goals go in as long as the team are focused throughout the full game.
He said: “Obviously, Sutton left it late and sucker punched us in the 94th minute in a game that we had control of. It’s that cliché, the game lasts 95 minutes and it’s important that we’re focused and concentrating. Now we’ve got a quick turnaround for the next game.”
Jacob Hanson dropped out of the match-day squad for Michael Duckworth. Due to the dense fixture list around Christmas, Fullarton believed it made sense to make the change.
He said: “With the amount of games that we’ve got, and the squad that we have, the conditions that we are playing under, and who we are playing, that enforces who we pick in the team because the job is to win the game. That’s what we are looking to do in every game. So, Michael has come in who has been fantastic in training and chomping at the bit and I think he contributed vastly today. He has shown it was the right decision.”
Halifax travel north for our next fixture as we face Gateshead away. Fullarton acknowledges that it won’t be an easy game.
He said: “Every game is tough for different reasons. It’s another away game, it’s another travel for us and they won today and have been winning recently. Obviously, they’ll be looking for revenge from the first game that we played against them where we managed to get the three points with a 1-0 victory. But we’ll be looking to replicate that again on Saturday.”
Video interviews will return on Saturday with the trip to Gateshead
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