FC Halifax Town 1-0 Stalybridge: Performance not important, says Heath

Billy Heath
Billy Heath

Billy Heath insisted his team’s underwhelming performance was not important after FC Halifax Town beat struggling Stalybridge 1-0 at The Shay.

Captain Liam King’s penalty settled the game but Stalybridge hit the woodwork twice, with goalkeeper Steve Drench producing an outstanding save late in the game.

Heath brushed off his team’s indifferent display and said The Shaymen did enough to earn the win.

“It’s totally irrelevant,” he said. “It’s just about getting the three points.

“It probably wasn’t the best game at all but it’s about getting three points.

“OK, Drenchy’s made a good save at the end and they’ve hit the post in the first-half but after that, nothing.

“i think we deserved to win.”

Heath said match-winner King is far from 100 per cent fit but says the only way his fitness will improve is by playing matches.

“Liam’s had to start again from looking really sharp and bright in pre-season to not playing for eight or nine games,” he said.

“He’s working his way into games. He’s about 75 per cent of what Liam King is but the only way we can get him fit is to play him.

“We can’t say ‘go and have a game with the reserves’ we’ve just got to play him.

“He’s got his first 90 minutes and we can hopefully get him back on the pitch on Tuesday.”

Heath was happy to see Daniel Wilkins miss a glorious opportunity a few minutes before King’s penalty in the first-half.

“I’m not sure how he did miss it but he did, thank god,” said Heath.

“But they’re the breaks. This time a couple of weeks ago against Harrogate and Fylde we didn’t get the breaks.

“The pleasing thing today is the clean sheet.

“I know it wasn’t a spectacle but it’s about winning football matches.

“I would rather play like that every week and win games than we play some really nice, attractive football and we finish mid-table.”

Heath admitted his team never got going in the game, but was pleased to see them grind out the win.

He added: “They had a game plan to frustrate, slow things down and make things difficult for us, but we couldn’t get our own passing game going.

“We were picking wrong choices and weren’t passing the ball quickly enough or with any real quality.

“But sometimes that happens. We don’t have any divine right to win matches at home or away.

“When you’re not playing well or passing the ball fantastically you make sure you grind things out and get a 1-0, and that’s what we’ve done.

“We’ve got the three points and we’ve caught up on teams all of a sudden. This is what this league’s about.

“If you make sure you win those games when you’re not playing fluid then we’ll be right up there.”