Salford 2-2 FC Halifax Town: Point was a fair result, says Heath

Billy Heath
Billy Heath

Town boss Billy Heath was happy with a point after a dramatic stoppage time equaliser earned 10-man Halifax a 2-2 draw at Salford.

Kevin Roberts’s free-kick was headed in by Scott Garner to hand Town a half-time lead.

But Roberts conceded a penalty which ex-Town man Sam Walker converted before Roberts himself scored an own-goal.

But Roberts popped up with a 93rd minute equaliser to salvage a draw, which Heath felt was a fair result.

“It was another exciting game,” he said.

“We were pleased to be 1-0 up at half-time.

“It was a very tight affair first-half. We got a goal from a good set-piece.

“We knew there’d be a reaction from Salford and there was.

“Both of their goals are disappointing from our point of view.

“The first one’s a strange one from the corner because Kev’s (Roberts) got it wrong, and then the second one’s even more disappointing because we don’t squeeze (play) from the throw-in and it ends up in the back of the net again.

“Then we lose Danny Hone. He had been fouled before he fouled but the referee didn’t see it that way.

“But I said to the players in the changing room, the character and the willingness to keep going was there.

“There wasn’t one player willing to throw the towel in against one of the fancied teams.

“Sometimes you get your just rewards and I think a point was a fair result.

“If you come away to Salford and get a point, you’re pleased.”

Heath was pleased to see Salford, who were the division’s third-highest scorers going into the match, limited to few goalscoring opportunities.

“They had few chances,” he said. “A few long-throws, a few set-pieces but nothing apart from that in open play.

“We had a great chance before our first goal with Richard Peniket, who feels he should have done better.

“It was a tight affair. You’ve got two clubs who are expected to be there or thereabouts, they’re always going to be tight affairs.

“But the main thing is we got something from the game.”

It was a busy night for Roberts, but Heath praised the manner of his dramatic late equaliser - a volley from just inside the box over a crowded penalty area.

“It was a great free-kick from Kevin, great quality,” Heath said of Garner’s goal.

“Garner’s made a great run and a great header.

“He’s had an eventful night has Kevin but he’s a top, top player for us.

“But the positive at the end, what a quality finish.

“With that many players in the vicinity of the goal and where he’s actually put it, it’s come off the underside of the bar with god knows how many players in front of him, it’s a great finish.

“It’s going to be an eventful season by the looks of it, there’s lots of big teams pushing, lots of good teams in this league.”

Heath had no complaints about the penalty, and revealed he was about to substitute Danny Hone before he was sent-off.

“We were waiting for the ball to go out,” Heath said. “We maybe should have done it five minutes earlier.

“We were trying to get him off the next time the ball went dead. Unfortunately, that was when he got sent-off!

“We have choices to make and we probably didn’t do it quickly enough.”

Jake Hibbs came in for the injured Nathan Hotte, and while the midfielder’s performance drew praise from Heath, the Town boss remains frustrated at his misfortune with injuries after Matty Kosylo picked up another knock..

Heath added: “This is the problem we have because we’re never getting a settled side.

“We’re chopping and changing. But I thought Hibbsy was tremendous.

“The boy’s got ability, he’s got good quality, he’s just got to learn the game a little bit, which we’re working with him on.

“But he was tremendous coming into a game like that.

“But we can’t get a settled side because we’re picking up injuries. Kosylo’s come on but he’s got an injury from the time he was on the pitch. He’s tweaked his knee.

“It just seems to be one injury after another.

“We’ll patch people up and see what we’ve got.”