FC Halifax Town 0-2 Tranmere Rovers: We gifted them both goals, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton. Photo by John Bradley.
Jamie Fullarton. Photo by John Bradley.

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his side “gifted” Tranmere both their goals as Halifax ended their home season with a 2-0 defeat.

First-half goals from strikers Andy Cook and James Norwood handed Tranmere a lead they never relinquished, but Town keeper Sam Johnson could have done better in keeping out Cook’s low shot across goal, while Norwood was then left unmarked to glance a free-kick home.

“Goals influence the course of games, and from our point of view, we’re bitterly disappointed with the two goals we conceded,” Fullarton said.

“You have to give credit to Tranmere, who are second in the league for a reason, and were pushing to win automatic promotion until lunchtime today.

“They’ve taken their chances, but when that happens, it changes the course of the game for both sides.

“Although I felt we had a response at half-time to the team-talk, and looked strived to reach the standard we’ve set, you can’t give the second team in the league a two-goal start and expect to come back and win the game.

“There were errors, and you can’t legislate for individual errors, no matter how good your game-plan is..

“We were at fault for both goals through individual errors. That’s disappointing.

“We’ve got a fantastic crowd, a meaningful game at this stage of the season, and to give therm a two-goal lead was very disappointing.”

Fullarton felt Town may have got back into the game if Matty Kosylo had scored his penalty.

“There were certain aspects in the second-half that showed we had a positive reaction,” Fullarton said.

“Incidents in the game shape it, and obviously missing the penalty, which anyone’s capable of doing, after 60 minutes, would change the course if it goes in, but it didn’t.

“Although the 2-0 lead meant we had to spark and improve in the second-half, going 2-0 up also alters how they play, which maybe gave us a bit more impetus, which makes it even more disappointing we’ve gifted them the 2-0 lead.”

When asked if the fact that Town were safe had any affect on their performance, Fullarton replied: “I always challenge that view point, and the reason is that people think they’re safe. But you’re never safe in this game as an individual.

“There’s no fear of relegation, but there’s always that pressure professionally, and personal pride comes into it.

“Today was a meaningful game because Tranmere were striving to achieve automatic promotion, with a bumper crowd - if any player did have that mentality, we safeguard against that because I firmly disagree with going out to enjoy it, it doesn’t mean anything.

“It always means something, and when you’ve got your fans coming in paying their hard-earned money to watch.

“I don’t think you can label our players having a lack of attitude and application.”

Fullarton wouldn’t be drawn on any specific players when asked if the game would have any bearing on who he would retain for next season.

“Every time a player walks on that pitch, it’s an opportunity to increase or decrease where they’re at because the picture’s constantly evolving,” he said.

“That’s why the players, when they go on that pitch, have to take that individual responsibility to be the best they can in everything they do.

“Every game you play, you’re forming opinions.”

On whether those who weren’t involved in the matchday squad would be heading out of the club this summer, Fullarton said: “When you look on a weekly basis, we look to pick a team to win the game.

“You’ve got players at your disposal and you pick a team that you feel gives you the best chance to do that.

“That was shown when we had four games in a week, where I changed the team and moved things round, because it was a group that does it.

“You can’t stop people making assumptions, but that’s something to be discussed after the season’s finished.”

Fullarton said Josh Macdonald, Josh Wilde and Matty Brown are the only injured players in his squad, but that all were very doubtful for Saturday’s final game of the season at Maidstone.