Gateshead 1-1 FC Halifax Town: Draw was a fair result, says Town boss Fullarton

Football - FC Halifax Town v Fylde. Jamie Fullarton
Football - FC Halifax Town v Fylde. Jamie Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton said neither team could grumble after The Shaymen drew 1-1 with Gateshead in a wind-swept contest in the north-east.

Former Gateshead player Jordan Preston handed Town a dream start after just 18 seconds, but his goal was cancelled out by Gateshead’s ex-Halifax striker Scott Boden in the second-half.

The game was played in blustery conditions, making passing football difficult, with both teams’ goals coming when they had the wind behind them in each half.

“Did we deserve something? Probably, yes,” said Fullarton.

“I think the conditions impacted the game hugely.

“We were under a lot of blind pressure in the second-half where they tried to use the wind, but I think it impacted what they are, because they’ve shown that they look to play a reasonable style of football, which because of the conditions, was impacted.

“Because what happened was they reverted to trying to play off with the wind.

“First-half, we had the wind behind us and created some decent chances, but I don’t think either team can grumble with a point today.

“But we’d have liked to have played them without the wind, and they’d have liked to have played us without the wind, because then it would’ve been a fairer reflection of both teams, and what they are.

“The styles we’re looking to play, the wind affected it.

“But credit again to what we are. Let’s put it into context, two away games, three days apart against two teams in the top seven, and four points.”

On Preston’s first-minute opener, Fullarton said: “I think it was an excellent worked goal. We created three or four opportunities from similar sorts of passages of play.

“We knew with the wind that, ideally, we’d have liked to have gone in two-up.

“We had two reasonable chances in the second-half, synonymous of how we play in terms of quick breaks, counter-attacks, understanding of the positions of other players.

“But the wind definitely influenced the game. Whilst at times we defended resolutely, not just the back four but from the front, Sam (Johnson) never had many saves to make, in fact, I can’t think of a save he did make.

“But I think it would have been a far better match had the wind not played its part.

“Momentum didn’t swing from one team to another, it blew, because of the wind.

“That’s something both teams had to deal with, but overall, it was a fair result.”

Town have collected four points from two tough away games at Harrogate and Gateshead ahead of Tuesday’s reverse clash with Harrogate at The Shay.

“Satisfied, but it doesn’t last long because in three days’ time it’s the return leg (against Harrogate), which I think adds great spice to the Christmas programme,” Fullarton said.

“I’m a big advocate of the National League doing that.

“A very difficult game, at home, against a team that is in the top seven.”

Fullarton confirmed that on-loan Bradford defender Jacob Hanson, whose loan spell is due to end in January, is available for Town’s New Year’s Day game at home to Harrogate.

The Town boss also said he was unsure whether he would have anyone come off the injured list for the Harrogate clash.

“Players are getting closer, joining in the warm-up,” he said.

“With the hectic schedule it’s important they still do a certain amount of work and training.

“Come Monday, we;ll look where we’re at with knocks, niggles and how far off people are.”

Ben Tomlinson made his first start in nearly four months, and set-up Preston’s goal.

“It’s patience. It’s fantastic to have him back involved, with his contribution early on,” said Fullarton.

“At times I’m going to have to make judgement calls on what I do when with him, but he contributed with the goal and overall contribution.

“We’re looking to edge it that little bit each time more and more until we get him up to speed on full 90 minutes.

“That gives us strength in depth and competition for places, which is vital for any team to go and kick on.

“All you ask for is a fair chance, and any team that has consistency in selection and competition for places results in consistency of results, whether that’s winning or losing.

“That’s what we’re striving for, and it’s good as we kick into January that we seem to be getting players back into the squad which then gives you decisions to make and competition for places.”

On adding to his squad with new signings, Fullarton said: “I am working every day and we’re looking to add to the squad to make sure we have real competition to make sure that the two results we’ve had against two top seven teams away from home becomes the norm, which it has been at certain times when we’ve had a fully-fit squad and competition for places.”