FC Halifax Town: More to Eastleigh than just their ace marksman, warns Fullarton

Actions from FC Halifax Town v Havant and Waterlooville, at the Shay. Pictured is Jamie Fullarton
Actions from FC Halifax Town v Havant and Waterlooville, at the Shay. Pictured is Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton has warned that Saturday’s opponents Eastleigh have more to them than just their hot-shot striker Paul McCallum.

The Shaymen face the in-form side in the National League tomorrow (3.0) in Eastleigh, who have won six of their last seven matches, with McCallum netting seven in his last five.

McCallum’s goals have earned Eastleigh 19 of their 58 points this season, while his 21 league goals are just under half of The Spitfires’ tally for the campaign so far.

“It’s apparent with a team that are vying for the play-offs that they have someone that scores double figures each season,” said Fullarton.

“That’s the fine margins of being mid-table and top of the table, is the conversion rate of chances.

“The goals are reflecting his contribution to the team in recent weeks in particular, being their talisman.

“But they’ve got more to them than just McCalllum. Even in the seasons gone by where he wasn’t as prolific, his contribution to the team was noticeable.

“Obviously we have to be aware of him, as well as what they are and how they’re playing.

“They all shape and form what we’re going to try and do to limit them to their opportunities, and hopefully take one or two of our own.”

Despite Eastleigh picking up 18 of their last 21 available points, Fullarton is eyeing back-to-back away wins after Town’s 1-0 victory at Maidstone last time out on the road.

“We’ll prepare to try and go and win the game,” said the Halifax boss.

“We’re consistent with our preparation, our due diligence on the opposition.

“They’ve had a great run, they’re on a rich vein of form.

“But we look at what we’re going to do - which is try and win the game - whilst respecting not only the form they’re in, the players they have and we have to come up with a way to deal with that to give ourselves the best chance of winning.”

Town can at least go into the game reassured by their impressive defensive record, having not conceded in nearly five hours of football and only once in their last six outings.

When asked what he put that down to, Fullarton said: “Hard work, understanding their roles, responsibility, (and the )structure and organisation that the players work on every day.

“That gives us the platform that were building from. It’s not by chance, or by luck, and it’s not any unit, it’s as a team, the way they defend, work and understand that has made us difficult to play against.

“As we move forward, and want to be better, then we’ve got to use that as a platform to go and win games.

“That’s the key stage for us to progress and improve.”

But Town’s problems lay at the other end, with only one goal in their last seven games, something which Fullarton says is down to “players taking chances when the opportunity presents itself, that’s what we need to do”.

Dayle Southwell and Ben Tomlinson have both been ruled out for the rest of the season through injury, while Cameron King and Joe Skarz are not thought to be close to a return to action.

Niall Maher is awaiting news of his broken hand sustained in last week’s 0-0 draw with Havant and Waterlooville, striker Scott Quigley has a hamstring injury, James Berrett is suspended for three games and Sanmi Odelusi remains a longer-term casualty.

Fullarton will at least have new loan signings Devante Rodney and Manny Duku available after the strikers joined on a month’s loan from Salford and Cheltenham respectively this week, .

Town’s long list of absentees means the duo maybe pressed into immediate action at Eastleigh, which is Town’s first of five matches in 15 days.

“We’ve had that for the last three months with the cup competitions, where we’ve played that volume of games,” he said.

“With that amount of games in a short period of time then it impacts your squad, which is already decimated.”