FC Halifax Town 0-0 Fylde: Attitude was spot-on but we lacked quality, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton
Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton was pleased with his side’s commitment but said they lacked quality in the final third after their 0-0 draw with Fylde at The Shay.

Both sides spurned good chances in-front of goal, with Town striker Jonathan Edwards missing two clear opportunities, while Fylde hit the bar in the first-half and brought some good saves from Halifax keeper Sam Johnson in a strong second-half display.

Fullarton felt his team produced a performance that matched the standards they have set for hard work and commitment.

“The expectation from myself, which reflects the club and the fans, is attitude and application,” he said.

“The only one I’ve been disappointed with where I felt we as a group let ourselves down was Maidenhead, in particular the first-half.

“It’s almost becoming the standard, the barometer, the benchmark, what they were tonight, for this group of players.

“It’s the group that’s managed to get the result tonight, albeit we’re never happy not winning. I’m definitely not, and the players, because of the standards they’ve set, are sitting in the dressing room disappointed against a team that was in the play-offs last year, who had lost only one game.

“In the last six games we’ve played, five have been in the top seven when we’ve played them, and we’ve only lost one, which was influenced by decisions we didn’t control.

“It’s almost an oxymoron of being bitterly pleased, or pleasantly bitter, my response to it.

“It’s a clean sheet. Players are showing they’re responding to what happened. The nine players that played for 35 minutes on Saturday, have played 95 tonight, and were still pushing, trying to get the three points as opposed to one.”

But Fullarton admitted his side were missing quality in the final third.

“What that will come with is experience, maturity, repetition of what we’re doing, and can we create as many opportunities as possible,” he said.

“We had good, clear opportunities. We need to and will and must and will work hard to do better.”

When asked whether fatigue was a factor as the game wore on, Fullarton said: “We’ve got to take a balanced view, and put it into context. You have to look at what they (Fylde) are.

“I thought first-half we had the majority of better chances. In possession we weren’t just a quick break, counter-attack, creating opportunities that way.

“I thought some of the intricate play in the middle third and movement from left to right and right to left was slick, and there was an air of confidence.

“But in games there are spells where teams will have a bit (of possession). I didn’t ever feel we were under any real pressure. I think the players are understanding exactly what we are from a defensive shape and structure.

“Whilst Fylde had probably more possession second-half than first-half, I didn’t feel under threat at any point.

“I think the players are strong mentally and conditioned physically to cope and it’s great credit to them. One or two opportunities late on show the willingness and capacity to continue working hard and run.”

Did Fullarton feel the result represented a good point for his side?

“There’s no such thing as a bad point,” he said. “At home, the way we are, I want us to push to win games.

“When you do that and don’t win, it’s almost acceptable. It’s when you don’t do that, and don’t win, then it’s a would’ve, could’ve, should’ve, and I don’t like those words. They should be banned from the dictionary. I prefer will, do and can.

“From that point of view, it’s acceptable. You’ve got to give credit to Fylde, who are in the position they’re in and the record they’ve got this season, and we’ve gone toe-to-toe with them, and shown we are capable of matching, as we’ve shown in five out of the last six games, teams that are going to be challenging for the title.”

Halifax’s appeal against Matty Brown’s red card against Hartlepool was rejected, meaning he missed the game against Fylde, and will also be suspended for the next two matches at Bromley and Aldershot.

“My views have been well-documented on what I thought, so it’s bitterly disappointing,” Fullarton added.

“Maybe I have a naivety in my thinking. Whilst football is about opinions, for me, what validates opinions is knowledge, understanding and experience.

“I felt that once my opinion, based on 30 years in the game, was looked at in the cold light of day then people would agree, but obviously not.

“But as tonight showed, with the group, we adapt and adjust accordingly.”