Harrogate Town 1-2 FC Halifax Town: Fullarton hails “a great win” after Shaymen’s victory at Harrogate

FC Halifax Town v Sutton United. Jamie Fullarton for Halifax.
FC Halifax Town v Sutton United. Jamie Fullarton for Halifax.

Town boss Jamie Fullarton described FC Halifax Town’s 2-1 Boxing Day victory at Harrogate as “a great win”.

The Shaymen came from a goal down at half-time to earn a terrific win thanks to second-half goals by Nathan Clarke and Dayle Southwell, and inflict only Harrogate’s second home league defeat of the season.

The hosts were the better side in the first-half, but Halifax rallied after the interval with a much-improved display.

“I don’t think there was a turnaround, but there’s defining moments in games,” said Fullarton.

“We were disappointed to lose a goal from a set-piece on the amount of work we do.

“It was obvious in the first 20 minutes that what we struggled with was the surface, in terms of our defensive third in particular, when you’re trying to pass out from pressure.

“Sam’s made a good save down to his left, but we had the best chance of the first-half, and that changes the course of the game.

“So while we didn’t play as well in the first-half as the second, it was a case at half-time of helping with two or three key points on how to approach it, to make sure we got a strong foot-hold in the game.

“While some people might have thought at 1-0 we weren’t going to come back, I work with the guys every day, and those slight alterations to what we were doing had a major impact.

“I thought second-half we thoroughly got what we deserved.”

When asked what was the difference between the first and second-half, Fullarton said: “We created more chances, and we managed to get further up the pitch.

“It was the understanding of the surface and how to cope.

“Three or four times when we were out of possession, we actually gave it straight back to them because feet got stuck in the ground or it bobbled off of us, so it was adjusting to the conditions.

“But once we scored, I thought the momentum was with us and we’ve created some really good, clear-cut chances in the second-half.

“We’ve still defended resolutely against a team that are quite physical and have an aerial threat.

“It’s no surprise where they are in the league and the results they’ve had.

“So it’s a great win. We play them in six days’ time so we’ll be looking forward to that.”

Harrogate came into the game undefeated at home in three months and as the league’s second-highest home scorers, as well as a far superior playing budget to The Shaymen.

When asked if that made the win all the more impressive, Fullarton said: “Yeah, hugely, but we’re trying to be the best we can be.

“I think the players showed today, in the second-half in particular, the capacity we have, but what’s important is that we continue with that, and have consistency.

“The games come thick and fast over this Christmas period, and we go away to Gateshead, which will be a very difficult game, who are another team doing very well, flying high.

“But it’s about what we do come Saturday, and then Wednesday, and then Saturday.

“So it’s a quick turnaround. Whilst it’s a great result today, and the second-half in particular was pleasing, it’s three points, and we move onto Saturday to try and do the same again.”

On the absence of defender Jacob Hanson from the squad, Fullarton said: “You’ve got to utilise your squad the best way you can, taking into account who you’re playing, what their strengths are and what we’re looking to do.

“I thought Michael Duckworth was excellent, very assured and contributed massively to the result, as did the others.”

Fullarton also said the half-time substitution of Sanmi Odelusi was tactical rather than for an injury.

There were 424 travelling Halifax fans at the game.

“Fantastic, excellent,” Fullarton said of the turnout, “and obviously they’ve gone home happy I hope.

“It is a derby game, and they always have that little bit of spice for the fans, so I’m sure they’ve enjoyed it.”