FC Halifax Town 3-0 Maidstone: Win was thoroughly deserved, says Fullarton

Jamie Fullarton
Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his side thoroughly deserved their win after beating Maidstone 3-0 at The Shay on Saturday.

The win puts The Shaymen top of the National League table on goal difference after three games, thanks to Cameron King’s first-half deflected shot and efforts after the interval by Ben Tomlinson and Dayle Southwell, who scored from the penalty spot.

“Great credit to the players,” said Fullarton. “The basic requirement and minimum demand from fans at any football club is that attitude and application and I thought that was evident in abundance.

“I think they showed they understood what was being asked of them and I think they got what they deserved in the game, which you don’t always get, the score doesn’t always reflect performance in football.

“But I thought it was thoroughly deserved.”

Fullarton thought his team’s goals came at important times in the game, with the first five minutes before half-time and the second seven minutes after the interval.

“I was pleased we scored when we did because I thought we started really well in the game and, ironically, as we scored they were having a little spell, which all teams do, of possession, and they were in the game at that time,” Fullarton said.

“But I think we scored goals at key moments, and the amount of chances we created was a pleasing part, and has been in the three games we’ve played.

“For fans that come out, especially at home, they want to see those chances, I call it the ‘oooh’ from the crowd.

“I don’t like that because that means you’ve missed a chance. I like cheers from the crowd, which means you’ve converted it.

“But more ‘ooohs’ from the crowd means more chances being created and I’m very much on percentages, so the more chances you create, the more opportunity you’re going to have to score.”

Asked if he thought his side had played better as the first week of the season had gone on, he said: “We have and we will. I’ve no doubt that over a period of time, as we grow together - not just because we’ve got new players but with people adjusting and adapting to the daily demands on them from myself and the staff - what you’ll see is understanding growing among individuals and collectively.

“What’s important, whilst it’s growing, is that you’re still gaining results and providing performances that encourages the support of the fans and for them to come.

“Since I’ve been at the club, we really want to, and have managed to, make (The Shay) our home with good results and performances.

“It’s something that, if you’re going to be successful and improve from last year, you need to make sure your home form is strong and you maintain that.”

Fullarton is not getting carried away though, despite Town’s 100 per cent start to the season.

“It’s really important to be balanced,” he said. “Whilst it’s fantastic, whilst the fans are happy, you’ve got to lace it with realism.

“There’s 46 games to play. We’re three in. It’s a good start, and it’s nine points, but that’s all it is.

“Over the 46 games, you’ve got to hit 50 points to stay in the league. You’ve got to hit 65 to get into the play-offs, and if you’re going to win the league you’ve got to hit 90.

“We’ve got nine, so I think without bursting any bubble, that’s reality.

“Will we improve? Yes. Are there areas for us to improve? Undoubtedly. That’s reality, being balanced and not getting carried away.

“It’s brilliant to get a result, it’s great to score three goals at home and get another clean sheet, but Tuesday’s upon us very soon, and with playing seven games in a month, things can change quickly.

“It’s remaining balanced whether we win, lose or draw and looking to the next game and how we can implement a game plan and use our strengths to go and try to win the game.”

Another positive for Fullarton is Town’s three clean sheets so far, with only Halifax, Wrexham and Chesterfield yet to concede in the National League.

“It’s a foundation that you can build upon, it gives you the best opportunity to win games,” he said.

“It’s that old adage where you start with 0-0, so you’re already given a point.

“Great credit all-round. People look at the defence for that, who have been excellent, but it’s a team.

“So when we score goals and everybody’s celebrating and everybody’s together, it’s the same when we get a clean sheet. The pressure from the front men to the midfield to support and limit opportunity, but when teams to breach that first and second phase of a defensive line, then the back four and goalkeeper have shown they’ve stood up to the test so far.”

Winger Matty Kosylo made his first start of the season against Maidstone, and Fullarton confirmed the player has made the shift to the club’s full-time model.

Fullarton added: “A boost and a real positive for us is that through talking to his other employer, Matty’s been able to juggle his work to enable him to train in the mornings, which is a real positive for us as a club, for the group, and Matty.

“What it enables him to do is integrate easier and catch-up quicker from a physical and tactical point of view, which up until this point, he’s been unable to do because of remaining part-time whilst we trained in the mornings.”

Fullarton confirmed Josh Staunton and Ryan Sellers were both missing through injury against Maidstone, with Staunton hampered by an ankle problem and Sellers suffering from abductor (groin) strain.

The Town boss said it was too early to say if they would be back for Tuesday’s trip to Salford.

Fullarton could only name four players on the bench for Saturday’s game, which highlighted the need for reinforcements at The Shay.

“I’ve been working tirelessly to do that (add to the squad) but there are certain factors that I don’t control that influence when you bring someone in,” he said.

“The key areas I’m looking at are how they will integrate off the pitch in the dressing room and what they will add to the team on the pitch, but there are constraints at every level, and that includes this level and this club, that limit or impact who you can bring in and when you bring them in. But it’s not for lack of due diligence or work on my part I can assure you of that.”