FC Halifax Town 0-2 Aldershot: We need to learn from our mistakes quickly, says Heath
Town boss Billy Heath says his team need to learn quickly after losing their opening game of the season 2-0 at home to Aldershot.
Second-half goals from Shamir Fenelon and James Rowe handed Aldershot all three points in front of 2,108 fans at The Shay.
Heath felt his team were culpable for both Aldershot goals, both of which stemmed from Halifax set-pieces, and says his squad need to learn from their mistakes.
He said: “I said to the players ‘effort and commitment wise, you’ve given everything’. The two goals are poor from our point of view. One was from our corner and we’ve made bad choices when the ball’s come out.
“For the penalty, we’ve caused our own downfall because we’ve played a short free-kick and it’s got cut out and it’s led to the decision.
“But we’ve got to learn very, very quickly.
“The performance was good. I thought we more than matched them at times. Yes Aldershot are always going to have possession against you, they’re very good at manipulating the football.
“But I thought for a lot of the time we were solid. The lads are disappointed but they’ve put massive shift in and they just need to make better choices at key moments.”
Heath said there were some positives to take from the game.
“We created some decent chances. Dents has had a great opportunity from a corner.
“But I think we more than matched them in a lot of ways.
“It’s always disappointing to concede from your own corner. We’ll never know where Connor Oliver’s shot was going - it just the boy’s head and went out.
“But the players worked so hard and we had a real go.”
When asked if he had seen enough evidence to suggest Town could compete in the National League this season, Heath said: “I think so, yeah. Ask me in eight or 10 games but we’ve played against one of the teams that was in the play-offs last season and we’ve more than matched them for long periods of the game.
“The players are bitterly disappointed but I said to them when I walked in ‘get your chins off the floor, we start again on Tuesday’.
“The problem we had was we made two bad choices and we’ve got to learn fast.”
On Town’s penalty appeal for an alleged foul on Nathan Hotte moments before Aldershot were given a spot-kick, Heath said: “Did he get any of the ball? From where I’ve stood, and we’ve got a great view of it, did he get any of the ball? No.
“But these are the decisions you have to take on the chin.”
Heath said new signing Michael Duckworth only met the players around two hours before kick-off.
“It was difficult for him because he’s not trained with us, we’ve not done anything with him.
“But he had a decent enough debut, he was comfortable on the ball.
“It’s never ideal bringing in a player like that but we didn’t have a recognised right-back.
“We only got him signed just before the deadline. He’s been on the radar. He wanted to stay and do the pre-season with Fleetwood but he’s a good fit. He’s a good acquisition.”
The Town boss also said he didn’t expect any more new signings at the club for the time being.
Midfielder Bohan Dixon and striker Adam Morgan were both left out of the matchday squad, but when asked if there was any prticular reason for those decisions, the Town boss said: “No. It was the just the same as David Lynch and whoever else was left out of the squad. We picked a squad for today and that’s what we went with.”