Leyton Orient 2-2 FC Halifax Town: Fullarton disappointed for his Town players after Orient’s last-gasp leveller

FC Halifax Town v Maidenhead, at the Shay. Jamie Fullarton
FC Halifax Town v Maidenhead, at the Shay. Jamie Fullarton

Boss Jamie Fullarton said he was “disappointed and gutted” for his Town players after they conceded a last-gasp equaliser in their 2-2 draw at league leaders Leyton Orient.

Goals from Manny Duku and Devante Rodney put The Shaymen 2-0 up, before Josh Koroma got one back just before half-time.

Substitute Matt Harrold then broke Town hearts with a scrambled goal in the fifth minute of added time.

“One thing I think you can say about this group of players is that they believe and trust what we’re doing, and today just demonstrated it,” said Fullarton.

“I’m disappointed and gutted for them. I say it regularly to the group about the game-plan, and today, they showed again that they believe in the preparation all week, they’ve trusted what I’ve asked them to do and they’ve implemented it.

“It’s a kick in the proverbials at the last minute but our progression has to be in certain games against the top teams, to see out the game.

“That will take us to the next stage. They’re the best team in the league, but I think we’ve shown that, in many aspects, we understand what we are.

“To come here, in a real atmosphere, with 5,500 baying for your blood, to withstand it, respond to it, and come away with something, is great credit to the players.”

Fullarton said there was a much-improved performance from his side from their 1-0 defeat to Maidenhead a week previously, and that his Town team did not look like a team with nothing to play for, unlike their title-chasing hosts.

“Whilst many people may think that a month or three weeks ago, we were virtually safe, the environment we work in individually and collectively, the culture is that everything matters, always,” Fullarton said.

“I think that was demonstrated today. I don’t think anything last week was different, but I just thought our performance was below par.

“We’ve struggled when we’ve had three games in a week, and we lacked energy.

“But today, while you have to soak up the pressure because you’re playing the best team in the league, to come here and implement what we’ve worked on all week, I’m disappointed for the players because you couldn’t ask any more.

“But I want us to be better, so I want us to see out that game. I want us to look at that and learn, and progress for next season.

“Because now we’re getting to marginal gains. We’ve got a foundation of structure and organisation, with a group of players that understand it and buy into it.

“We’ve added a real threat that fits and suits us, which has resulted in us scoring another two and having three good chances that, on other days, we maybe take.

“But you’ve got to be begrudgingly pleased and happy. And we look forward to hopefully progressing to that next stage to be challenging on a regular basis.

“We’ve got to have consistency in performance for that.

“It was an open game, so anyone who watched it I think would say both teams were trying to win it.”

Loanees Duku and Rodney again showed a dangerous combination of pace, energy and physicality in attack for Town.

Fullarton put down the duo’s impact to “understanding of what’s required and how we play”.

“You’ve got to give credit to the group as well for immersing them into the group.

“Obviously they’ve worked hard on a day-to-day basis to get up to speed and understand what’s been asked of them.

“We play to their strengths, which suit what we are. I think what we are was there to be seen today.”