FC Halifax Town: Heath happy after Town end pre-season campaign unbeaten

Billy Heath
Billy Heath
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Billy Heath praised his Town side’s “excellent” display as they drew 0-0 with League Two Accrington Stanley in their final game of pre-season.

Halifax could have won the match but Jordan Burrow missed a first-half penalty after a foul on the excellent Josh Macdonald.

Heath was pleased to register a clean sheet ahead of this weekend’s season-opener at Nuneaton and thought his team played well.

“We had a great chance to win it (with the penalty) but overall I thought it was an excellent performance and the boys were superb again,” he enthused.

“It was physical and competitive and that’s what you need.

“We’ve created chances and it’s disappointing not to take them.

“But the clean sheet was massively important. I thought there was some great defending when needed.”

Liam King is set to take over penalty duties after Burrow’s miss, which followed a foul on the impressive Macdonald.

“I thought first-half he was very good and second-half he played very well,” Heath said on the winger’s performance.

“It’s just his directness. He asks questions of full-backs, that’s what we’ve asked him to do. He delivers a good cross.

“The good thing for Josh is we left him on for 80 minutes. I know last season he didn’t seem to play longer than 60 minutes but he breezed through 80 minutes.”

Heath was delighted with his team’s defensive resilience under increasing Accrington pressure as the game went on.

He said: “The game got a bit stretched in the second-half and that gave both sides more space to work in.

“But when we really needed to we got a block on it, got something on it, there were two or three bodies going in front of the ball, and that’s what you need.

“I don’t believe in pre-season games - the result matters and you could see that.

“You don’t want any losses in the column and that showed today.

“The boys want to win games.”

Town’s centre-half pairing of Danny Hone and Scott Garner drew particular praise from the Shaymen boss, who said: “I think Danny Hone and Scott Garner have been superb throughout pre-season.

“If you’re looking for consistency in every pre-season game they’ve been right up there.

“It’s a good pairing and I think they enjoy playing with each other. The communication is really good between them.

“They’re experienced at this level and today they put really good performances in.”

Hone and Accrington striker Terry Gornell were both ordered to be substituted late in the game after a flash-point between the pair.

“It wasn’t a great tackle on Honey and he’s not reacted in a great manner, we hold our hands up for that, but it was a bit of a naughty one,” said Heath.

“What Honey was more upset about was that the referee didn’t speak to the other player, which is bizarre.

“But there numerous bizarre incidents and decisions throughout the game.

“He’s had a bit of an ankle problem and didn’t train all week so we were going to take him off soon anyway.”