Heaton blames lack of concentration for Leigh loss

Ben Heaton
Ben Heaton

Halifax centre Ben Heaton has said the roots of Sunday’s rollercoaster 36-28 Championship defeat by Leigh lay in the home side’s lack of mental focus.

But Heaton, who played strongly on his return to the team after being called up to replace the injured Danny Cowling, was keen to keep the performance in perspective ahead of the Good Friday trip to Barrow (3.0).

“It’s about concentration,” he said, who said Fax should have dealt better with the brawls that saw both sides down to 11 men at one stage, the sending off of Sam Barlow and a series of contentious decisions from referee Chris Leatherbarrow.

“We had a 10 minute spell where we weren’t on it and that gave them the momentum to win the game.

“We were flying in that first 40; I think that’s the best I’ve seen a Halifax team play since I’ve been here and we need to take those positives.

“But it’s no good playing for 40 minutes and then clocking off.

“Stuff happens in games; you get fights and you need to get on with the game and deal with those situations.

“It was 12 v 12, 11 v 11 then 13 v 12; you just need to concentrate and keep on playing, not allow it to change how you are playing or make you think you have a right to win just because the other team are a man short or whatever.

“We had some decisions go against us, but it’s no good complaining to the referee and getting distracted by that, because he’s not going to change his mind.”

And while Barrow are struggling to find their form this year, despite the arrival of charismatic new coach Bobbie Goulding, Heaton has fresh memories of last summer’s disastrous performance at Craven Park, when the unfancied Raiders dealt Fax’s league hopes a significant blow.

“We learned a lesson up there last year,” he said.

“That’s been and gone but we know it’s going to be tough.

“We need to be switched on when we go up there otherwise we will get punished.

“I was fortunate to get called up last weekend after Danny pulled out with a hamstring injury, but hopefully I did enough to keep my place.”