Hartlepool 4-0 FC Halifax Town: We can’t go into games with patched up sides, says frustrated Town boss

Hartlepool United V Halifax Town. National League.
Rhys Oates with a shot.
Picture: TOM BANKS
Hartlepool United V Halifax Town. National League. Rhys Oates with a shot. Picture: TOM BANKS

Town boss Billy Heath admitted Hartlepool were just too good for his patched up FC Halifax Town side after their 4-0 thrashing on Tuesday night.

A Halifax team deprived of captain Matty Brown and winger Matty Kosylo among others was two goals down within seven minutes, and never threatened to recover.

It’s now 10 games without a win for Halifax - the longest winless run of Heath’s tenure.

“We’re disappointed but we’re patched up at the minute and it’s difficult,” said the Town boss.

“We’re fighting fires and we’re getting caught out against good teams that have far too much for us.

“I can’t fault the players for lack of effort. We’re just coming across teams that have more than us.

“The players are working as hard as they can, but we can’t go into games with patched up sides, not at this level.

“We need the full starting 11 out every week if we can.

“We have to get people into the football club. We’ve had numerous targets for weeks and weeks but we’ve got to get some of them over the line.

“We have to have some reinforcements quickly.”

Heath said Hartlepool’s two goals in seven minutes “killed us”, after which, his team was on “a hiding to nothing”.

“It’s difficult when you’re chasing the game and you’re 2-0 down after seven minutes,” he said.

“But we came up against a really good team. They just overran us in the first 25 minutes.

“Second-half was a little bit better. But sometimes you hold your hands up and they had too much for us.

“The players are bitterly disappointed but they’re still trying. But we can’t compete with a club like Hartlepool. Period.

“Hartlepool were expansive and they’re experienced players at Conference level and higher.

“We’ve got a lot of players who have never experienced this before, but that is where we are as a football club. That is our standing.

“We have players who are untried at this level but they’re giving everything they’ve got and this is why it’s difficult to criticise them.

“We’re a part-time team playing in a full-time league. There’s only two or three of us left that train Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“If that isn’t difficult enough we’re patching sides up.

“We like to train at full tilt but we can’t do that because we’re worried about getting anyone else injured.”

Like at Sutton on Saturday, Heath felt all the goals his team conceded were avoidable.

“For the first goal, the left-back started the move off and ended up in the box slotting it under the keeper, so we can do better,” Heath said.

“We haven’t passed him on, we haven’t stayed with him when he’s come off the line and we haven’t got enough challenges in.

“We weren’t big enough or strong enough. All the goals were avoidable.

“But they all came from us missing challenges in the centre of the pitch, and you can’t do that.

“Physically we were found wanting.

“The fourth was tough on us but we were playing the last 15 minutes with 10 men because Scott McManus was injured and couldn’t run but we’d made all our subs.

On the penalty for Hartlepool’s second goal, Heath said: “He couldn’t wait to give it. For me it wasn’t a penalty.”

Heath was forced to move Nathan Hotte to centre-back in Brown’s absence. When asked if Town missed a ball-winning midfielder like Hotte in central midfield, the Town boss said: “That’s maybe something I should have looked at and gone a different way.

“You’ve got to have that physical presence and we didn’t have that.

“But we’ll find out shortly who’s prepared to roll their sleeves up and get dirty because we need to roll our sleeves up now and start pushing a massive shift in.

When asked how Town get out of their poor form, Heath said: “We have to work harder, but sometimes that’s not enough because we’ve come into a full-time division where we are a million miles off the finances of these clubs.

“You can try to bring players in if it’s possible, and we have targets, but in the end it will be dictated by finances.

“All you can ask for the players is to work as hard as they can and if it’s not enough, then it’s not enough.

“But we have to keep trying to get results.

“It was the most difficult performance of the season because of the circumstances. “We need our full starting 11 out but we’ve got too many players missing and we need some reinforcements.”

When asked if he was confident of signing any new players before Saturday’s home game with Eastleigh, Heath said: “It’s down to the finances.”