Barrow 0-0 FC Halifax Town: Heath happy to get up and running after draw at Barrow

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Aldershot at the Shay. Billy Heath
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Aldershot at the Shay. Billy Heath
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Town boss Billy Heath described his team’s hard-fought 0-0 draw at Barrow on Tuesday night as “a good point”.

Halifax were outplayed for long periods of the game and had to dig in to preserve their clean sheet, but could have nicked a win after an improved second-half performance.

Heath said: “It’s a tough place to come, they put you under a lot of pressure.

“Physically they’re very big and they ask a lot of questions of you.

“I think we started off OK and then in the last 25 minutes of the first-half we kept turning the ball over.

“The pressure built but the players stayed in the game, which was massively important.

“We didn’t concede, people were putting their bodies on the line and we managed to get to half-time at 0-0.

“Then I thought we might have edged it second-half. We had one really good chance with Dion (Charles) where he’s gone round the keeper and the lad’s cleared it off the line.

“I thought we played a lot better second-half, we kept the ball better which allowed us to get further up the field.

“We started off with 3-5-2 but we lost Riley early doors, but I think it’s a good point. Any point at Barrow is a good point.”

Heath argued Town were their own worst enemy by constantly giving the ball away, which led to Barrow’s almost relentless pressure in the first-half.

“There weren’t that many clear cut chances,” he said. “Yes, things were dropping in the box and there were some alarm bells going but I don’t think they carved us open. It wasn’t as if Sam has had to save five or six shots. He’s kept us in the game and, yes, we were under a lot of pressure because we kept turning the ball over but the biggest thing the boys take away from the game is when you’re not playing great, you stay in a game.

“And on the balance of chances in the second-half we could have come away with a win.”

Dion Charles should have scored for Town after the interval when he got a clear sight of goal in the best chance of the game.

“He’s done ever so well,” Heath said. “He’s gambled off it, he’s gone round the keeper and he’s gone the near side. But the lad’s read it. But I thought Dion played well.”

On the debut of midfielder Bohan Dixon, Heath said: “He was a bit rusty. He’s not played massively in pre-season but I thought first-half he did OK but it was just picking up the pace of the game because it’s quicker at this level. Some players have got to adapt to that. He did great second-half.”

There was again no place in the starting line-up for Adam Morgan, but Heath insisted there was no particular reason for his absence.

“I’ve said all along it’s a squad game,” the Town boss said. “If people think we’re going to have the same starting 11 every week, we can’t. We made changes tonight and we may make changes on Saturday. But the players know that and understand that.

“Josh Macdonald didn’t do anything wrong on Saturday, he played well. He wasn’t on the bench but sometimes you have to do that for tactical reasons.”

On the absence of David Lynch from the matchday squad, Heath said: “Lynchy is always outstanding in everything he does and in his attitude to everything.

“We pick teams and at the moment he finds himself out of them, but his attitude is spot on.”

Defender Martin Riley will be out for two weeks at least after having seven stitches to a gash across his knee sustained in the first-half.