FC Halifax Town 1-2 Dover: We must learn from our mistakes fast, says Town boss

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Aldershot at the Shay. Billy Heath
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Aldershot at the Shay. Billy Heath

Town boss Billy Heath was left frustrated after his team threw away a point against Dover by conceding an injury-time winner in their 2-1 defeat at The Shay.

Six hours of football without a goal was ended by Tom Denton cancelling out Mitch Brundle’s late opener in added time, only for substitute Tobi Sho-Silva to score from a corner barely a minute later.

“We’ve played really well,” Heath said. “The first-half was scrappy, just an arm-wrestle, not a lot in it for both teams.

“They had little bits and pieces in our box and we had probably one chance.

“Second-half we were brighter, were on top for long periods but the disappointing thing is we concede the first goal from a ball that goes right across the goal and we nearly put it in, then within a flash it’s in the back of our net, and we just show naivety at times.

“Then we get that elusive goal that we’ve been crying for and you just want to see the game out, but we’re naive again because we want to try and go win it with three minutes to go, but sometimes you just have to take your medicine and think ‘we’ll just take the point’.

“But we throw players forward, Matty Brown gets stretched down the left channel, that shouldn’t happen. We concede a corner and we don’t pick them up, we switch off.

“We’ve got to learn fast. Again the effort and commitment from the players has been superb, but we need points on the board.”

Heath felt his team got on top in the second-half before conceding another disappointing goal.

“We couldn’t get the wide player into the game so we switched Kosylo, took Dion (Charles) off and brought on Josh (Macdonald) and it seemed to work,” Heath said.

“I thought we had the ascendancy early in the second-half. We’ve snatched at a few chances, not quite struck the ball well enough, one kicked off the line.

“It’s ifs, buts and maybes but the three goals we’ve conceded this season (in open play) have all been when we’re attacking, so that’s something we’ve got to look at.”

Asked if he thought Town’s fortunes were finally going to turn when Denton equalised, Heath said: “You think to yourself ‘we’ve got another hard-earned point’. You think ‘you don’t deserve to be one behind but the players have shown tremendous character’.

“We dug it out. It was a great stand-up from Josh Wilde, great finish from Dents, what he does best, but what you do then is take your medicine.

“But suddenly you end up with nothing and we’ve got to learn.

“It would have been a good point.”

Heath admitted the players had been left bitterly disappointed by the last-gasp sucker-punch.

“They’re hugely disappointed,” he said. “When you put that much effort into a game and drag yourself back into the game, you’re going to be.

“If there’s one thing they’ve got it’s character. When you concede with the last kick of the game it’s difficult, but we’ve got to pick ourselves up.

“It’s a cruel game sometimes and it was tonight.

“I’ve said to the players ‘you’ve just got to keep believing’ because we’ve been in every game this season.

“It’s not as if anybody has dominated us.”

On the performance of referee Marc Edwards, who angered the Town fans with some questionable decisions, Heath said: “He was very poor all night, simple as that. I thought we were playing at Dover at one point.”

Defender Cliff Moyo and midfielder David Lynch both came into the starting line-up on the night, and both impressed the Town boss, who added: “Lynchy was exceptional, for somebody who’s played no football for a long period.

“And Cliff Moyo was outstanding from the first minute to the last. He was solid and strong. physically both of them were fantastic.”