Dover 2-1 FC Halifax Town: “We didn’t cope well enough with the wind, it’s as simple as that” says Fullarton

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Havant and Waterlooville, at the Shay. Pictured is Jamie Fullarton
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Havant and Waterlooville, at the Shay. Pictured is Jamie Fullarton

Boss Jamie Fullarton said his Town side didn’t cope well enough with the windy conditions in their 2-1 defeat at Dover.

The result ended Halifax’s unbeaten run, with Matty Kosylo’s goal for The Shaymen coming after efforts by Alfie Pavey and Anthony Jeffrey for the hosts.

Town were unhappy that an alleged handball by Dover’s Jai Reason wasn’t awarded in the build-up to Pavey’s goal, while Jeffrey’s was a cross that went straight in without being dealt with by Halifax at the back.

Kosylo then capitalised on uncertainty by Dover’s Mitch Brundle after a high ball got caught up in the wind.

“All three goals were influenced by the wind,” said Fullarton.

“The elements played a part. I didn’t think we coped well enough with them, it’s as simple as that.

“We’ve got to do better with it.

“The wind has claimed two assists today.

“The first goal, the players are adamant that not only was it a handball but that it was a high kick on Joe Skarz.

“Whilst you’re looking for consistency, in the last few minutes of the game, the exact same thing happened in their box and (the referee) gave them a free-kick. So where is it?

“The fourth official totally agreed with it. It’s led to the event that meant we went in 1-0 down against a really strong wind, which made it very difficult for any sort of play to flow.

“I don’t think either team played well.

“I didn’t think it was a game of football, I didn’t there were enough passes made by either team.

“They (Dover) showed a real desire, which I don’t think we lacked, I just think the elements were a huge contributor, whichever way you want to look at it, which spoiled the game.

“I felt they dealt with them better.”

Fullarton didn’t believe Dover necessarily produced a better performance than his side on the day.

He said: “It was a horrible game. I think the wind was the best player on the pitch today if I’m honest.

“You look at it and say ‘we’ve lost the game so Dover must have played better than us’ - I don’t think that was the case, I don’t think either team played well.

“I thought we didn’t cope with the elements well enough.

“Saying that, we still had chances where we should have done better.

“Devante (Rodney) in the first-half, Manny (Duku) and Matty (Kosylo) in the second. Those three chances are from inside the box, free shot at goal.

“We just missed that little bit of quality at the right time.

“If any one of those go in, then ascendancy changes and you kick on.

“Goals change games, and Dover, obviously fighting for their lives, went 5-4-1 to play against our 11 players plus the wind.

“It’s disappointing, but you’ve got to take that into consideration.”

When asked if the blustery conditions meant Town’s game-plan went out of the window, Fullarton said: “You’ve just got to adapt to it and understand it.

“That’s about players making good decisions on the pitch, so you’re starting position’s slightly different when you’ve got the wind (at your back) as opposed to facing it.

“The principles don’t change, so the game-plan is still looking to play into spaces, into areas to exploit their weaknesses and what you need to do is try not to allow anxiety to make decisions for you, because you think the wind’s with you or against you.

“They were poor, uncharacteristic goals that we lost.

“Whilst we’re disappointed with them, the second in particular, the wind was an assist, and with our goal also.

“There’s a bit of apathy in my voice because we’ve allowed the elements to influence the result really.”

Loanees James Ferry, through injury, and James Hardy, having been recalled, missed making their last appearances for Halifax, and were missed after impressive recent form.

“When you borrow, beg and steal, you’re beholden to the clubs, and you’ve got to be thankful that we managed to have them,” Fullarton added.

“But that’s the constraints that we work within at the moment.

“And it’s (about) understanding those constraints.

“Magicians pull rabbits out of hats, and in recruitment, sometimes it’s more difficult when you’ve got constraints, but they contributed to what we are, they created competition for places, and when you’ve got competition for places, people vying, then it increases level of performance, hence improved results and performance.

“Obviously we’re disappointed to lose both players, but that’s just the reality of where we’re at.

“We’ve brought in young Ryan (Gondoh, on loan from Colchester) to give us something different, and in the run-in, hopefully we’ll see it.

“When he came on I thought he was bright, he was lively, and he showed different things in an area which we haven’t had for a while.”