Eastleigh 1-0 FC Halifax Town: "It was a completely even contest" says Wild after narrow defeat

Town manager Pete Wild felt a point would have been a fair result after his side lost their first game in seven thanks to Tyrone Barnett's goal for Eastleigh.

By Tom Scargill
Saturday, 20th March 2021, 5:37 pm
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston
Pete Wild. Photo: Marcus Branston

Barnett's volley was the one moment of quality on a drab affair, which brings to an end a fine run of form for Wild's team.

"I thought there was nothing in the game, there's been one chance in the whole game and unfortunately they've taken it instead of us," he said.

"It was an even contest, I couldn't see a goal from either side, but they've just managed to nick one.

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"That's the only chance in the whole game, it was a completely even contest with two teams scrapping it out in the middle of the park on a small pitch that didn't look like it was going either way.

"Fair play to them, they've managed to get themselves over the line.

"Most games are probably going to be like that until the end of the season, pretty cagey, you're going to get an odd chance and if you take it, you'll do well and if you don't, you'll find what happened to us today."

Wild was pleased with his side's performance either side of Barnett's winner.

"Up to and after. I didn't really see them scoring, and then we switch off and Tyrone peels off the back of Tom Bradbury and that's the only chance in the whole game of any note for either side," he said.

"The cagey ones have gone for us in the last two games and unfortunately it hasn't today."

Town only registered one shot on target in the whole game.

"We didn't get enough numbers up in the final third to support Billy and Jamie, they were feeding off scraps," Wild said.

"Unfortunately we couldn't get the support to them, maybe because of personnel and how they play.

"We didn't get enough numbers in the box to really hurt them.

"We kept their forwards in-front of us and I really couldn't see a goal."

Wild said a point would have been a fair result.

"We've come away with two 1-0 wins when maybe a point could have been a fair result the other way so you've got to take the rough with the smooth," he said.

Injuries to Tahvon Campbell and Jack Earing left Wild short of options in terms of team selection for the game.

"We have small squad, we have a small budget and we have to use what little resources we have," he said.

"We were down to the last embers today.

"I thought the lads stood up, gave it everything they've got, some tired legs, six games in three weeks.

"But it's the same for them. It is what it is today and we move on to being back on home soil against Sutton and we've got a week to prepare for that."

On Campbell's calf injury, which looks set to sideline the striker for six weeks, Wild said: "He's a good player, an important player for us but unfortunately with the schedule and the season being how it is, we're going to pick up injuries.

"There's unfortunately nothing we can do to stop that."

Wild says Earing should be back for next Saturday's game against Sutton.

"He's got a sore hamstring that had the potential to go if we didn't manage it, so we had to manage that today," Wild said.

Town skipper Nathan Clarke made his first appearance in nearly four months.

"Nathan did well today, won his headers, won his tackles. It was probably a game that suits Nathan with how they play," said Wild.

Keeper Chris Renshaw has had his loan extended from Witton for a further month.

"Harrison (Davison-Hale) is another three weeks away before he can start goalkeeping again, and then he'll need a week to get himself back out there, so it makes sense," Wild said. "Chris is a top keeper."

Striker Jamie Allen will miss the Sutton game due to being called up for international duty.

"Jamie goes tonight away with Montserrat," Wild said.

"I'm very pleased he's representing his country but obviously that leaves us light on numbers.

"There's nothing we can do about that, we can't stop him going.

"If they request him they have every right to take him."

Danny Williams is expected to be fit for the Sutton game, while Wild is hopeful over Jake Hyde recovering from a calf injury.

"He's 50-50 for next Saturday, we're hopeful he'll be back," said the Town boss.

"It's been a long three weeks and it's important we regroup and go again.

"We've had some really good results, we're not going to win them all, that's just a fact of life.

"We've just got to keep going."