FC Halifax Town: McClelland delighted with improved performance

Gareth McClelland
Gareth McClelland

Gareth McClelland praised the attitude of the FC Halifax Town side after their impressive display in the 1-1 draw with Gateshead.

James Bolton’s second-half header cancelled out Jon Shaw’s opener, but Jordan Burrow missed a penalty during a dominant Town performance.

Halifax belied their lowly position in the National League table, and caretaker-boss McClelland was delighted with what he saw.

“Obviously you’re always after a performance and a result and we certainly got the performance and created endless amounts of opportunities,” he said.

“We had the penalty miss, the two goals disallowed - on another night it could definitely have been three points.

“But the attitude of all the players was excellent.

“I wanted to rotate the team a bit, give a few of the players who haven’t had an opportunity a chance and I think they all stepped up.”

McClelland believed every Town player played their part against a Gateshead side with seven wins from their 11 games before their trip to The Shay.

“If you look at the whole team it’s all eights and nines across the board,” he said.

“Matt Brown did really well after scoring the own goal at the weekend, but he came back and he was superb.

“Man for man, even the subs came on and did well, Danny Hattersley had a couple of chances, so it was a good shift from everyone.”

McClelland’s changes to the Town line-up included a first start for Sam Walker and moving Sean Tuton up-front to partner Jordan Burrow, both of which the interim manager felt worked well.

“I felt Sam Walker deserved an opportunity because his attitude has been different class since being at the club,” he said.

“He’s trained well and I just felt it was right he had the opportunity and he certainly stepped up to it.

“Sean spoke to me and said he’d like an opportunity down the middle and I felt I’d give him that chance and he definitely proved he’s capable as a striker.”

McClelland also praised the performance from Hamza Bencherif, who played in an attacking midfield role and was one of the night’s star performers.

“What a performance by him,” enthused McClelland. “He played that role for Lincoln quite a bit and he stood out.

“He was strong in there, he was disciplined and he’s a good footballer, good feet and he can get a strike off as well so he’s got a lot of good attributes.”