FC Halifax Town 1-1 Harrogate Town: Fullarton hails fightback after sluggish start

Manager Jamie Fullarton, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax
Manager Jamie Fullarton, FC Halifax Town v Harrogate Town at the Shay, Halifax

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his side showed a “vast improvement” to earn a draw after a “self-inflicted” poor start in their 1-1 draw at home to Harrogate.

George Thomson opened the scoring for Harrogate in the sixth-minute on New Year’s Day, with The Shaymen badly out-of-sorts.

But Halifax recovered after the interval to salvage a draw thanks to substitute Jonathan Edwards’ 90th minute strike.

“Poor start, first 20 minutes. It was nothing tactical, nothing to do with anything other than we didn’t start well,” said Fullarton.

“Lost a poor goal, which was just a mistake, or a poor judgement.

“We’re strong at home but we gave them something to hold onto.

“Got to half-time and there was a vast improvement in the second-half.

“The never-say-die, going to the final 95th minute resulted in us taking a point.

“If you look at over the course of the two games (against Harrogate) over the six days, four points is definitely what we deserve.”

When asked whether fatigue played any factor in Town’s performance after a busy Christmas period, Fullarton said: “We can look at that, with a small squad and constantly asking players to perform.

“Whilst it’s a busy Christmas period, due to our cup commitments, we’ve played six games in 18 days, and asking them to go to the well again could well be a factor.

“But I don’t like making excuses because I work with them every day.

“Whilst it could be a factor in the start, I think the end tells you there’s a bit more in that dressing room in terms of the culture we have and the togetherness, to go and get a point in a game where we lost an early goal and the team holding onto that have a fantastic record. That’s credit to the group.”

Halifax produced a wretched first-half littered with sloppy play and offering little attacking threat.

Fullarton admitted his side’s start was well-below what his side is capable of.

“That was collectively, and individually, in every aspect,” he said.

“It wasn’t about whether we could tactically change it, or tweak it. It was the basics - passing the ball, decision-making and awareness in the first-half.

“The start was poor, and in that first 20 minutes in particular, we under-performed in every aspect.

“It was self-inflicted. It wasn’t from anything creative, inventive or any power-play from the opposition, it was just self-inflicted.

“But then the game evened out towards the end of the first-half, and then second-half, we were camped in their half for most of it, prodding and probing, and got our just desserts late on.

“Even after that we’re trying to look to go and win the game.”

Edwards netted his first goal since the 2-1 win against Dagenham and Redbridge at The Shay on August 18.

“Johnny came on against Gateshead and I thought he made an impact,” Fullarton said.

“He came on today and great credit to him, not just his goal, but I thought he was a threat, and really contributed and helped continue the momentum we’d gained at that point.

“I’m really pleased for anyone to score from my point of view, but when you’re an attacking player, goals are what you judge yourself on.

“But his general play in the short time he was on I thought contributed to our performance in the last 30 minutes, which meant we merited something from the game.”

Fullarton confirmed that defender Jacob Hanson had played his final game under his loan agreement with Bradford, but when asked if it would be Hanson’s last game for the club, the Town boss said: “It’s something we’re working on.”