Gloucester 0-2 FC Halifax Town: Heath lauds Town’s most satisfying win of the season yet

Billy Heath
Billy Heath

Town manager Billy Heath described Saturday’s win at Gloucester as the most satisfying of the season.

Goals in each half from Alex Simmons and Liam King sealed a 2-0 win for Halifax and lifted them to within one point and one place off the top-five.

Asked whther it was the most satisfying victory of the campaign so far, Heath replied: “Absolutely yeah. In a game where everybody’s obsessed with playing pretty football - you don’t win this league or reach the play-offs if you’re going to be pretty.

“We came here with a job. The first 15 or 20 minutes was nothing we didn’t expect.

“They (Gloucester) were bright, sharp, got on the ball, asked questions.

“After 25 minutes we came into the game, and that’s what you’ve got to do.

“Just because we’re Halifax, it doesn’t make any difference, it means nothing.

“We stayed in the game, did everything right, defended properly as a team, not just the back four.

“We played a 4-3-3 and the wide players, supposedly up top had to do their jobs by defending.

“I’m so pleased with the result because it was exactly how you have to be in this league to get results at times.”

Gloucester began brightly and put Town under strong pressure, a period which Heath likened to being in an arm-wrestle.

But the Halifax boss said his side weathered that spell effectively.

“People don’t understand that you have to win the arm-wrestle, especially away from home,” he said.

“It’s just like an arm-wrestle - sometimes there’s not a lot of football played but you have to make sure you defend properly.

“Once you come out of the other side - it might take 45 minutes, 50 minutes - that’s when the key moments come and that’s when you score your goals at times.

“You have to endure the arm-wrestle and then you come away with the points.”

Heath was also pleased with the way his team adapted to losing Danny Hone, David Lynch and Jordan Sinnott to injuries during the game.

“We lost Danny Hone pretty early and Nathan Hotte came in, and he was outstanding,” said Heath.

“He’s only had a bit of game time last week and he’s had to come in and play a good 70 minutes.

“We know Nathan can play centre-half and he was absolutely outstanding.

“He gave us a bit more pace as well.

“Then we lost Lynchy (David Lynch) at half-time. He had a dead leg. He was trying to keep it moving at half-time and he said he was all right.

“When we came out onto the pitch he said it was no good so we had to change it again.

“Hibbsy (Jake Hibbs) came in - he’s still finding his feet. He’s still very young and he’s not played a massive amount of games.

“Then with 15 minutes to go - key period of the game because they’re throwing bodies forward - Jordan Sinnott picked up a calf problem so Kevin (Roberts) has to go into midfield.

“Cliff Moyo comes on but once again, seamlessly goes in there and we see out the game.

“I’m just pleased about the work rate, the desire and the togetherness.

“There were periods in the game where we had to be resolute and strong, and as players you have to sacrifice what you want to do for the team.

“And I think there were two or three performances where players had to do that.

“At times Josh Macdonald did that, at times Simmo (Alex Simmons) did that and Liam King was our holding central midfielder second-half, which is definitely not his natural game.

“But that’s what you have to do, but we got the three points and I think we deserved them.

“How many chances did they (Gloucester) really create? Not many.”

Lincoln loanee Alex Simmons made it five goals in five games by opening the scoring on Saturday.

“He’s very sharp in the box,” Heath said after the game. “It’s a long throw, Dents (Tom Denton) has flicked it on, it’s dropped to Simmo and he’s there first again.

“That’s what he does really well. Because he’s played as a centre forward before he’s very sharp and he’s got himself another goal. When he’s in the box, he knows where to go.”

Heath was also in no doubt that the correct decision was made in awarding Halifax a penalty for a trip on Josh Macdonald in the second-half.

“Sometimes you don’t get them but for me it was a definite penalty,” the Town boss added.

“The linesman’s right there and he’s called it, and the referee’s gone with the call.

“I thought it was definitely a penalty.

“I think we had one earlier in the season at Fylde in exactly the same situation and the referee waved it away.

“But it was a penalty that day and it’s a penalty again.”