Fax’s Johnston upset by Sheffield loss, focused on improvement ahead of Town trip

Mitch Stringer takes on Ed Barber on Friday night
Mitch Stringer takes on Ed Barber on Friday night

Distraught Halifax full back Ben Johnston said he felt he let his teammates down in Friday’s 26-6 Championship reverse at Sheffield.

Johnston endured a horror evening in the Steel City, losing his footing inches short of what would have been a crucial try just before half time before seeing a cruel bounce present a try on a plate for Eagles’ half back Cory Aston as Fax were distanced after the break.

The former Castleford youngster, starting his first full season at number one after switching from half back, could now find himself under pressure from fit-again rival Miles Greenwood ahead of Sunday’s long haul trip to Workington (3.0).

“Personally, I know I’ve had a poor game and I’ll have to knuckle down this week,” said Johnston.

“I’m enjoying playing there, and I’m learning it, but on Friday I was poor and I felt I let the lads down.

“I didn’t really deliver.

“The kick that bounced was probably poor positioning on my behalf to start with.

“That’s what comes with that position, there’s a lot of pressure but that’s your job.

“You’re always in the spotlight, but I enjoy playing there.

“I’m learning that position and we’ve got Miles Greenwood coming back from injury and I’ve picked up a lot from him.

“He’s been a top full back in this division for many years and he’s always helping me, but we’re going to be duelling for that shirt now.”

“The attitude and the character in the second half was a million miles away from what we’re about as a bunch of lads and the way we’ve grown as a team.”

It could all have been so different, with Fax creating chance after chance against Mark Aston’s full timers without managing to find the killer touch.

“We had a lot of opportunities in that first half, but we lacked composure and were probably our own worst enemies at times,” said Johnston.

“Sheffield scrambled really well, but what we spoke about was maybe not forcing the pass if it’s not on and getting them on the next play or the play after that.

“We’re embarrassed really, that’s not what we’re about and they’re not the standards we’ve set as a team.

“If we want to achieve what we set out to this year, we need to turn that around sharpish at Workington.”