FC Halifax Town 1-1 Chesterfield: We did enough to win the game, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton
Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his team did enough to win the game after their 1-1 draw with Chesterfield at The Shay.

Matty Kosylo gave Halifax the lead in the second-half, but former Halifax forward Tom Denton’s header earned Chesterfield a share of the spoils in-front of the BT Sport cameras.

Town striker Kyle Wootton came close to winning it in added time, but his header hit the bar and bounced down onto the goal-line.

When asked if he thought Town did enough to win, Fullarton, who deployed a 3-4-1-2 system in the game, said: “Yes, I think so, 100 per cent.

“I try to be quite candid in what I say. Last week wasn’t good enough in my view, I thought we under-performed to our standard.

“This week - contrast. I thought we were by far the better team. I thought we coped, for the majority of the game, with their game plan, the directness of it, a left-back that goes to the right-wing to take throw-ins says it all.

“We’ve got players missing from our team, but the response to the blind pressure and the game-plan from Chesterfield, I thought we coped well with it, but more importantly, when we had the ball, I thought the lads were excellent in creating the amount of chances we did.

“We have to do better. But we will continue to play in a way that hopefully excites the fans, hopefully continues to get the ‘ooohs’ from the crowd, but are hopefully followed by cheers because we’re scoring more goals.

“But it’s that application from the players, and that buy-in and belief in what we’re doing, because of the amount of chances we created.

“We created enough to win two games I would say, but we didn’t, and that’s where we’re disappointed.

“But we look at performances first and foremost, and that relates to points total.

“We don’t want to be a nearly team.

“We had a number of key players missing, but you look at the group, and the tactical switch seemed to work and enabled us to get a foothold in the game where we’ve come away with a point when we should have had three.”

Town were guilty of spurning some good opportunities, with Jonathan Edwards and Wootton both missing chances, but Fullarton felt his side produced a performance to send the fans home happy.

“Any manager will tell you, if you’re not creating opportunities and players aren’t responding to what you’re asking of them, then you’re concerned,” he said.

“The fans were fantastic again today, they’ve gone home disappointed not to get three points, but with a bounce in their step because I feel they’ve appreciated the attitude of the players and the performance.

“Ultimately, they’re coming to be entertained and I thought today there was a vast contrast in styles.”

Some Town players were left aggrieved that a foul wasn’t given moments before Denton headed Chesterfield’s equaliser for an infringement on Town captain Nathan Clarke.

“They (Town players) felt it was,” Fullarton said. “It was difficult for me to see from the footage I’ve seen so far.

“When I’ve got a senior player, who’s played for 15 years in the Football League and is as honest as the day is long, telling me it is, then I believe it is, I’ve got no reason not to.

“But ultimately, it’s a goal because the referee gave it.

“We can talk about ours (Wootton’s effort off the bar), it looks like it bounced behind the line, is it or isn’t it? I don’t know, but it’s not because the referee didn’t give it.

“These are things that influence and affect the game. I thought we were well worthy of the 1-0 lead and over the game, we deserved to win.

“I thought the manner we went about it showed we were by far the better team.”

Fullarton said Town were playing against a big club in Chesterfield, who were in League One as recently as the 2016-17 season.

“My tone and response to questions, whether we win, lose or draw, tends to stay on the same level, even when we were top of the league after winning five out of seven, my manner was the same because my opinion is formed by working with them every day, and I look at the league on a regular basis,” Fullarton said.

“So I’m looking at it from a different vantage point. It’s important to be balanced, but that doesn’t disguise your weaknesses or areas we need to improve in.

“You do have to add context to it. The stature of Chesterfield as a club, their budget, their stadium, and their squad.

“Martin’s been in a position to bring two players in this week, and if you look at the programme, we can’t fit all their players on the back!

“But that’s the league we’re in and it’s a difficult league.

“It’s 46 games, and we’re 16 in. The objective is to be better than we were last year.

“I’m pedaling like mad behind the scenes to improve infrastructure, professionalism and the foundation behind the club to give us a platform to kick on.

“Whilst spinning that plate, the group we’ve brought together are working their socks off on that training field, along with me and the staff, to make sure we have performances that the fans go home and think ‘yeah, we enjoyed that’ and getting results that relate to that.

“It’s being realistic, being balanced, looking at what we are and striving to be the best we can.

“Whoever we played today, if you perform like that on a weekly basis, you’ll win more games than you lose.

“We’ve had two or three discrepancies in the last month, where we’ve been disappointed, and that’s to do with performance.

“But the response from last week to this week, there was a vast difference.”

Fullarton added: “The amount of work me and the staff are doing behind-the-scenes to create a foundation to be successful is to give us a level of success over a sustained period. That’s what we’re looking for.

“We’re trying to put those blocks in place, which takes a lot of time and energy.

“From that, the facts from the LMA (League Manager’s Association) every year show that your budget has a direct correlation to where you finish in the league, in the Premier League to the National League.

“You have some teams that overachieve and finish three or four places above where your budget is in the budget league, and there’s teams that underachieve, which is three or four places below where your budget is.

“Then you have extremes like Macclesfield and Accrington Stanley.

“So what are we looking for? We don’t set targets other than to be better than we were last year, and get the club into a position to have a sustained level of success, which is continual progression.”

Fullarton confirmed Niall Maher and James Berrett had both been substituted against Chesterfield due to injury.

“It’s part and parcel of the game,” he said. “It gives someone else an opportunity, but when you have a small squad and budgets are tight, you’re limited and it has an impact. But that’s the reality.

“Missing key players at a club like ours is difficult, and we’ve got some long-term injuries that also have an impact, because we’re not in a position to replace them.

“But you deal with it, you kick on.

“The boys that went out there, even with some strong characters missing showed that we’re difficult to beat, and can be exciting, and I think our fans want that.

“It’s their club, Every club is the fans’ club because managers and players come and go, but they’re here for the long-term.

“If you ask our fans what they want, when I arrived, their view was they wanted a certain style of football that excited them, whilst winning enough points to make sure we were overachieving from where we should be.

“And I think they would be going home today thinking that.”

Fullarton also confirmed Jordan Preston, Ryan Sellers and Matty Brown were all injured, but said it was too early to say if they would be back for the game at Warrington on Saturday.