FC Halifax Town 1-0 Dover: We should have won more comfortably, says Fullarton

Football - FC Halifax Town v Fylde. Jamie Fullarton
Football - FC Halifax Town v Fylde. Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his side should have won more comfortably after Halifax beat Dover 1-0 at The Shay.

Matty Kosylo scored his fifth goal of the season to seal Town’s first win in 13 league games and lift them up to 12th in the table.

Dover put Halifax under strong pressure as the game wore on, but that was after Town had spurned some good chances to extend their lead.

When asked if he thought Town deserved the win or the result was harsh on Dover, Fullarton said: “You’ve got to look over the full game, over the 95 minutes.

“You tend to look at the last five minutes when you’re under pressure, blind pressure at that.

“I think their intention was clear when they put Diarra on as a striker, and what we had to do was manage the game in the last 15 minutes.

“Due to the circumstances and situation, a little bit of anxiety takes over and it effects your decisions on the pitch.

“One-nil is a precarious scoreline, but it should have been more at that stage, and therefore it should have been a more comfortable final quarter of the game.

“It wasn’t, and that’s where we’re looking to improve, and make sure that it is a game that’s more comfortable for us, by taking those chances that we create earlier on.”

Fullarton believes his side have played better and not won during their 13 game winless streak in the league.

“Yeah, for sure. Whilst three points are fantastic, it’s why you play the game, to win three points.

“But it’s how you win those points, as we look to be better. There’s been games where we have been better, and drawn.

“I think that’s the irony of football. We’ve played better and we will play better, and not win games.

“But we still had enough clear goalscoring opportunities and passages of play in certain areas that merited more goals.

“With the chances they created from their direct play, there were bodies on the line blocking, but without Sam (Johnson) being overly exposed.”

Fullarton reiterated that his side need to be more clinical in-front of goal, with Dayle Southwell, Kosylo and Jordan Preston seeing good chances go begging.

“You’ve got to step back and be as objective as you can,” Fullarton said.

“I’ve stated before this season that our ratio of goals to chances has to improve and increase if we want to keep progressing and step to another level.

“It’s no different today. But we’ve got another clean sheet, got a 1-0 victory, created enough chances to maybe score more than one, and we move onto Morecambe now.”

The result earned Town their third clean sheet in four games.

“Stats don’t lie, and people are quick to tell you stats, especially when they’re negative ones,” said Fullarton.

“It’s whatever slant you want to put on it. Because we’ve won, you have that feeling of euphoria so let’s put a positive slant on it, so ‘we’ve got three clean sheets out of four games’.

“But that is pleasing, because to give yourself the best chance of winning games, it’s built upon clean sheets and defensive structure.

“And that’s not just the back four and goalkeeper. That’s the team.

“At times it was frantic, in the last 15, 20 minutes, but that’s the circumstance or situation we find ourselves in because the players are desperate for that win that everybody keeps banging that drum about.”

Fullarton was delighted with the fighting spirit from his players during the win.

“I think the only demand from people involved at the club - whether directors, manager, coaching staff or fans - is that players go out and give everything that they’ve got,” he said.

“I sum that up as attitude and application, and whilst we can guarantee they’ll make mistakes and wrong decisions, if that’s evident in abundance, then you’re more forgiving.

“And I think today, whatever you want to say about poor decisions or allowing anxiety to maybe grip us in the last 15, 20 minutes because the players desperately wanted those three points to reflect the hard work they do during the week, I don’t think you can doubt that from the players, which was the most pleasing aspect of the performance.”

When asked how important he felt the victory was to his players psychologically in ending their winless league run, Fullarton said: “You look at it each week, whether you’re winning five and losing two in the first seven, or going so many games without a win and quoting the stats, which then builds or destroys that psychological barrier you’re referring to.

“You look where we are, we’re in the top half of the table.

“People are reflecting on Hartlepool and how well they’re doing, they’re only three points ahead of us.

“But you can look at it and say you’re playing certain teams and refer to where they are in the league, but in this league, anyone’s capable of beating each other depending where you play them, the impact of injuries and suspensions and ultimately, budget.

“So it’s just remaining balanced and trying to see it for what it is.

“It’s excellent to get three points, and it’s important every time we play, we look to either win to get into the net round of the cup, or gain those three points.

“But if you can repeat those actions that you’re demanding of the players to get a more consistent outcome, then that’s what, as a coach or a manager, you look to do every week.”

Fullarton confirmed defender Michael Duckworth has stepped up his recovery from injury.

“Michael has joined back in training, but with him having been out for a little while and having just returned, he needs a bit of time on the grass.

“But that’s a positive for us.”

Fullarton also said he hopes to have a clearer indication on midfielder James Berrett’s progress next week.