FC Halifax Town 0-1 Gloucester: Heath says Town only have themselves to blame after Gloucester defeat

Billy Heath
Billy Heath
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Town boss Billy Heath says his side created their own downfall after they slipped to a frustrating 1-0 defeat to Gloucester.

Halifax fell out of the play-off places with their first home league defeat since October as Joe Hanks’ second-half penalty sealed a crucial win for the visitors to keep them in touch with the top-five.

“We manufactured our own downfall,” said Heath, “a short back pass and a penalty. Sam’s got a decision to make, he comes out and he’s clipped the lad. You’re always disappointed when you concede but even more so when they haven’t done anything to get that goal.

“It’s disappointing because even if we came away with a point we’d have looked back and said ‘we’ve created a lot of chances, we haven’t taken them, but we got something from the game’. I think it’s harsh on us to not get anything but it’s about results and you don’t get what you deserve sometimes, and I think today’s one of those days.”

Town dominated the first-half with an impressive display, but failed to turn their superiority into a lead.

“We probably played as good football in that first-half as we have for a few weeks, as a football game,” Heath said. “But there’s no point having a nice football game if you don’t win. We’ve had enough chances to win four games today.

“We continued where we left off against Bradford. We were going forward at will, creating chances, we looked good on the ball, playing long and short, going in behind, the wide players were involved, we got Jordan Sinnott on the ball. We were just waiting for the first goal and if we’d got that, we may have got one or two more.

“We know if we get the first goal against teams they have to come out, so we know the first goal is paramount. Instead of hitting us on the break they have to expand a bit more and that leaves holes.

“Second-half it evened off a bit, we didn’t come out as well as we’d started the game and we kept giving the ball away so we couldn’t get a foothold in the game. Then we give the goal away and Matty Brown goes off after we’ve just made all our substitutions, but the boys showed a lot of character when we went down to 10 men because we still created chances.”

Asked whether he thought goalscorer Hanks had handled the ball on the line in the first-half, Heath said: “I asked the ref at half-time and he said no. I’d be very disappointed if it has hit his hand because he has to go if so. It would obviously have had a bearing on the game but we’ve had enough opportunities to get goals. It was a bit like the Alfreton game where you’re worried it will come back and haunt you, and it has.”

Loanee Dion Charles made his debut on the left-wing for Town after joining from Fleetwood for the rest of the season, and Heath was satisfied with his contribution.

He added: “It was difficult for him coming in because he’s not trained with us but sometimes you’ve got to throw them in, and he did well enough. He’s picking up the speed of this league but I thought he did OK.

“He has an eye for goal, good quality in and around the box, he can go past people and he links things well.”