FC Halifax Town 2-1 Gainsborough: We need to start taking our chances, says Heath

Billy Heath
Billy Heath

Town boss Billy Heath admits he feared another hard luck story before his side fought back to claim a crucial 2-1 win over strugglers Gainsborough at The Shay.

Halifax lost 1-0 at home to Gloucester on Saturday after creating the better chances, and found themselves a goal down at the break having dominated the contest up until then.

But a Chris Salt own goal and Adam Morgan’s late strike moved Town back into the play-off places.

“You’re thinking deja vu,” Heath said. “We’ve dominated the game, we’ve had more possession, we’ve had numerous opportunities and you think ‘here we go again’. It’s just frustrating, and the players are frustrated because we don’t the goals we deserve at the minute. I’m not being disrespectful to Gainsborough but if we’d finished the game with five goals, you couldn’t have argued with it because we had great chances but they’re just not hitting the back of the net. As soon as we start doing that it’ll take a lot of pressure off us because you’re in a pressurised situation whatever game you’re playing.

“The players know what’s on the line and the ones who have the stomach for it will get in the play-offs; it won’t be the team that plays the best because there won’t be any fluent football now. It’s about churning out results and having that desire and that stomach for it.”

Heath admitted poor defending from his team led to Gainsborough’s shock opener, and said he knew it would be an uphill battle to get back into the game after that.

“For the first 25 minutes, half an hour, we were fantastic,” said the Town boss. “Their goal was their first attack. We had some good opportunities and it looked a matter of time when we were going to get the goal. But we made a bad choice from our free-kick, we go short to the full-back, then we give an awful pass and they get the goal. That’s so frustrating because it’s from our free-kick.

“They were fighting for their lives and we knew what was coming second-half, they tried to break it down and stop and start the game. I don’t have any problems with that. We said if we got the goal we were confident we were going to get the winner.

“The main thing now is about results. It may go down to the last game for a lot of teams. It’s a good three points.”

Town’s equaliser was their first goal at The Shay in four-and-a-half hours of football, while The Shaymen have only scored in two of their last five games.

When asked about his team’s finishing, Heath said: “I think it gets into the players’ minds. As much as you talk about it and want to rectify it, defenders start to get a bit edgy when you’ve created that many chances. I’ve been there myself as a centre-half, when the ball’s not going in the net players get edgy and start feeling the pressure a bit. You think ‘is the goal ever going to come’ and it’s not as fluent as it should be. But we’ve come out on the right side and we’ve just got to relax. Hopefully we can get an early goal in a game.”

Loanee Dion Charles produced a sparkling performance in his second appearance for Halifax, and impressed the Town chief.

“Dion showed tonight what he is,” Heath added. “He came in on Saturday and people want to judge him from the first game, but he showed tonight what a good player he can be. He’s a lot like Kosylo, he has a low centre of gravity, he takes people on, he excites people, goes past people, and I thought at times in the second-half he was unplayable. But we didn’t seem to get the ball to him enough. I also thought Danny Clarke was tremendous again. He caused problems down the middle and when we had to switch him to the right. And I’m pleased Morgan had an impact because he looked sharper and brighter, he got into little pockets but he also played on the shoulder, which we’ve said he’s got to do.”

Heath said it was “too early to say” about the extent of Matty Kosylo’s hamstring injury.

Heath also said he would hopefully be able to add to his squad before Thursday’s transfer deadline, and was targeting two additions to his team.