Bromley 2-2 FC Halifax Town: Reaction tells you a lot about the group, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton
Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton praised the reaction of his players as they twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at Bromley.

After Josh Staunton cancelled out Frankie Sutherland’s early opener, which saw him smash in the rebound after his penalty was kept out, Bromley looked to have taken all three points when George Porter produced a superb volley across goal with eight minutes remaining.

But Town rallied again and salvaged a draw in added time thanks to Jordan Preston’s header.

“We’re looking for repeated actions that become characteristics, and you’re looking to create opportunities, and play from that, which I think the players did today,” Fullarton said.

“But there comes a point where, opportunities you create, you have to increase the ratio.

“Goals change games, and what your’re looking for is a reaction, and I think in different spells of the game today, we showed a real positive reaction, in particular, when we went behind twice.

“I think that gives a real insight and reflection of what we are as a group.

“We’ve got four players that have been starting and are part of the squad, missing. And I think it’s great credit to the players that have played (because) we’re still working in a certain manner that reflects what we are.

“Other than the Maidenhead game they have reflected what we are in the performance and their attitude.

“The two goals we conceded were preventable in my view, because I have the advantage of knowing what we work on on a daily basis, and in our preparation for this game in particular.

“It’s something we need to take on board, and I said so after the game, to prevent us having to pull a rabbit out of the hat or relying on our attitude, our commitment, our understanding, our patience, our belief, our trust.

“Let’s not put ourselves in the position where we’re looked upon as ‘good old spirited Halifax’.

“What do we want to be? That’s the question I ask the players. What do we want to be seen as?

“I think we’re gaining and building our reputation, and when we go toe-to-toe with teams that are above us in the league and are challenging for the title, we match them.

“But we have to do more than match them if that’s what we want to achieve and we want to progress. That’s what we’re striving towards.”

When asked what he thought of the decision to award Bromley their penalty, for what looked like an alleged foul by Nathan Clarke on the hosts’ Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, Fullarton said: “It’s a penalty because the referee gave it. Without seeing it again I don’t know.

“My only question was why did he wait two seconds before giving it?

“The fourth official said he wanted thinking time.”

Fullarton called on his side to be more clinical in front of goal.

“I thought the game was to-and-fro for the first 15 (minutes). I thought we started OK,” he said.

“Once they scored I thought that impacted their approach, which meant we had more possession away from home, which is great credit to us.

“We had probably 30 minutes to 45 minutes of that, where we were the team in the ascendancy, reasonably composed and more possession than anyone would probably expect of an away team.

“When we have that, and we create half chances or good opportunities, we have got to be more clinical, and we must do better.

“But to do better, it’s (down to) continuous hard work, belief and trust in what we’re doing, and the repetition of practice, whilst we’re looking to eradicate any sort of errors.

“That’s where we’re at, where the benchmark keeps getting raised.

“Other than the two goals and the shot off the line, we’re away from home and we look quite competent defensively, we look reasonably comfortable against a team that had probably about 15 minutes where they were in the ascendancy, just before they scored.

“It’s a great example if how goals change games, and more importantly, how they change the psyche and mentality of a group of players, no matter what the manager says on the side.

“But if you say you’re 2-1 down approaching injury time, and you get something, would you take it, I would begrudgingly say yes.

“But let’s not put ourselves in that position.”

Staunton, who had been out with an ankle injury, made his first appearance since August 7 when he replaced the injured Niall Maher in the first-half.

“It’s been well documented how the injuries and suspensions impact the small squad that we have,” Fullarton said.

“Injuries are an occupational hazard, and we’re disappointed with suspension because they’re controllable to a degree.

“But it meant that Josh has probably played sooner than we would have liked, and great credit to him.

“He’s scored the goal today but he came in and was competent in his approach, considering he hasn’t played for so long.

“It reflects character and personality, where he’s not quite ready but willing to go on there and put his all in for the club, for his team-mates, and thankfully we did have him today, because it meant the loss of Niall Maher, having lost Matty Brown, didn’t impact or affect us like it could have.”

Fullarton also confirmed winger Matty Kosylo missed the game due to his one-game suspension having been sent-off against Fylde being extended by a further two matches because of his comments to the fourth official after he was dismissed.

“I’m always disappointed with any suspension, but that’s where were at,” Fullarton said.

“It gives opportunities for others to play, perform, and you look at how we’ve tried to assemble the squad, it shows that we’re trying to be strategic to lessen the impact of suspensions and injuries on how we are.

“Coming away from home on a surface that’s different from what we’re used to, and gaining a point, whilst laced with disappointment, is credit to the group.

“But we’re we’re always striving and pushing for more. We want more, we need more.

“It’s that continuous work through the week that will get that come a Saturday.

“But it shows where expectation is now of a group of players from people within and outside the club, where now we’re looking at coming away from home, getting a credible draw, some might say, and not being fully happy with it.

“Now our focus turns to Aldershot, which we’re really looking forward to.

“As a manager, when you go into these games, you do so with a positive attitude, because I firmly believe this group of players can win against any team in the division at any point.

“But what we have to do is convert the draws into wins, because what do we want to be, and what do we want to achieve?

“We don’t ever set targets, because I feel that limits you.

“But in the mean time, can we make sure we work continuously to improve on daily, weekly basis?

“It’s different when you watch from the inside to the outside. I have an advantage when I know what I’m asking of them. I know what we work on, so there will be times I’m more disappointed than our fans when we lose goals or something happens in a game, because I know the work we do during the week that should prevent that, or limit that.

“Today was another example of that, because I know and expect from what we do, knowing what they (Bromley) are, to limit the chances.

“Even from the penalty, leading to it, it was disappointing for us because we work on that on a daily, weekly basis, to prevent such circumstances or situations from happening.

“The penalty’s the penalty, but the lead-up to it, we work on that, so that is something I’m disappointed with and the players are disappointed with because we work on it every day and every week.”