FC Halifax Town fell to a 1-0 defeat at home to Sutton United. Halifax manager Jamie Fullarton gave his thoughts after the loss.
He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed. Obviously on reflection of the game which was, at times, awful. Sutton came with a game plan to break up the play, make it very bitty and they succeeded in that. I don’t think we were under any sort of pressure or in any danger at any point during the game. But it shows you that if you don’t stay switched on, you don’t defend for the 95 to 98 minutes that we played today, then we get hit with a sucker punch, which leaves us with no points today.”
The game became very scrappy as the referee halted play numerous times due to fouls. Fullarton was quick to give the officials credit despite the difficult circumstances within the game.
He said: “It was very difficult for the officials. I think with the hole circus that was going on, obviously we didn’t take part in such things, you’ve got to give them credit for what was extremely difficult circumstances with the scrappiness of the game. But we’re focussed on what we do to manage the game as opposed to whether the referee does.”
With Sutton’s first team coach Ian Baird being sent to the stands and a linesman having to be replaced, there were a lot of distractions throughout the game. Despite this, Fullarton was adamant that Sutton’s style of play was not something he would like to see.
He said: “The on-field antics distracted the players. I think that the game was broken up with lots of meaningless fouls. They’ve used their experience and they had a game plan which worked for them, because at the end of the day they’ve taken three points. It’s not a way I would like us to conduct ourselves or portray ourselves on the pitch or off the pitch. We don’t do that, but fair play to Sutton who are comfortable doing such a thing and they’ve got the three points.”
Town created several goal scoring opportunities throughout the game and were unlucky to come away with nothing. Fullarton believes that Sutton were fortunate to come away with the points despite not creating many chances.
He said: “If you don’t defend for the 95 to 98 minutes we played today, and you allow a cheap goal like we did, which I think was probably their only real shot on target, then it’s bitterly disappointing. Our defensive shape and structure has resulted in several clean sheets over the past two months. When we don’t take our chances like we didn’t today and you’re reliant on that, and that’s a platform from what we play from, it’s important that we revert back to that come Wednesday when we face Harrogate away.”
With games coming thick and fast over the winter period, Fullarton made it clear that this enables players to concentrate on the next game rather than dwell on results.
He said: “Due to our cup run, our congested fixture list has been like that for the past six or seven weeks. We’ve played eight games in the last month, and we’ll be looking to do the same over the Christmas period. The good thing about players and results like today, when you’ve got a game around the corner on Wednesday like we have it gives us a chance to rectify what happened today.”
With Town’s next fixture coming against Harrogate Town, Fullarton is looking forward to the Boxing Day derby.
He said: “It’s a local derby, it’s a Boxing Day game. It’s pleasing that the National League do it where you play the team on Boxing Day and then New Year’s Day. I think it adds a little bit of spice to the game and we will be looking forward to it.”
Watch the full interview on Shaymen TV
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