Dagenham and Redbridge 1-1 FC Halifax Town: Approach of the players meant they got what they deserved, says Fullarton

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Chesterfield, at the Shay. Jamie Fullarton
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Chesterfield, at the Shay. Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his players deserved their point after battling back with 10-men to earn a 1-1 draw at Dagenham and Redbridge.

Josh Staunton was sent-off in the first-half against his former club, before the hosts took the lead after an hour through Jack Munns.

But Nathan Clarke headed in a corner with 10 minutes remaining to level the score.

“It was questioned whether this team was a Jekyll and Hyde team, and I strongly disagreed,” Fullarton said.

“While there are certain performances throughout the season we can pick out that may suggest that, but you’re talking 27 games we’ve played.

“While you’re coming to the in-form team, who have dramatically improved because of an influx of quality players they’ve brought in, but we’ve more than than matched them, even with 10 men for an hour.

“That was down to other attributes that a successful, progressive team needs, guts, determination, understanding their roles and responsibilities, wanting to go that extra little part that they did in the cup last week as well.

“Under different circumstances today, we’ve got to be very pleased not only with a point but the overall performance and attitude of the group.”

When asked if he felt his side would have won with 11 men, Fullarton said: “What if my granny was a man? She’d be my granddad. but, we were coming to win the game and I truly believe that, with 11 v 11, it would have been an opportunity for us to take three points.

“Great credit to Dagenham, they are on a rich vein of form, but with the group of players we have, I firmly believed we would win the game.

“Even though we were down to 10 men, we didn’t try to shut up shop, although at times we had to.

“But we kept attacking players on the pitch, we tweaked what we did, and went to try and impose ourselves on the game.

“At times it was very difficult, but the approach of the players meant they got what they deserved today, and that was something from the game.

“The what if question? Yeah, I believe that with what we had today and how the game had started, in particular where they (Dagenham) couldn’t get out of their half which showed our intention and confidence.”

Fullarton added: “Whether or not you’re down to 10 men, if you stay in the game, we’re always capable of getting something.

“I reiterated at half-time that with 10 men, I believed we could still win the game.

“If we went to nine, it would have been more difficult, as it showed against Hartlepool.

“Once they (Dagenham) scored, they probably thought that was it, but they underestimated us as a group.”

On Staunton’s dismissal, Fullarton said: “I’d have to see it again. My view on referees is they’re here to manage games not influence.

“We all have bad days at the office, whatever job you’re in, and unfortunately I thought he influenced the game today.

“The general consensus, if you look at the bookings that were given, you almost forgive referees for being poor if it’s poor all over.

“Without criticising too much, I just thought he was poor and showed a lack of understanding in tussles and what happened, which was disappointing.”

Was Fullarton fearing the worst when Munns scored for Dagenham?

“No, I never think that. And that’s an informed opinion.

“I firmly believed we would get something, as long as the boys reacted in a positive way.

“And I said at half-time that, no matter what happens, principles don’t change. Stay in the game. And at 1-0 you’re always in the game.

“On reflection of the game, I didn’t feel we were ever under any real pressure.

“They struggled to break us down and Sam (Johnson) never had a save to make when we had 10 men.

“I think’s that’s credit to our pressure on the ball, the work-rate, and understanding of what our shape and structure was.”

Town could now be without Staunton for three games unless they successfully appealed the decision.

“Again, I’d need to see it (before making any decision).

“I got 10 red cards in my career so I understand the ramifications better than most, but you deal with it.

“On a daily basis I am working tirelessly to add to the squad.

“There are many factors that influence getting players in through the door that I don’t control but it’s not down to lack of effort or endeavour.

“We are trying to add to the squad to create competition for places and prevent suspensions and injuries derailing what we are trying to do as a squad and as a club.

“Unfortunately over the past two months such things have impacted us which we are striving to prevent from happening in the coming months.

“I don’t have enough fingers or toes to count the amount of players I have tried to sign in the last few weeks but the lack of success in doing so hasn’t reduced my drive or desire to continue working daily to add to the squad.”

Fullarton said midfielder Cameron King was ruled out of the Dagenham game with a knee injury

“I can’t see him being back any time soon and I doubt he will be in consideration next week.”