Fylde 0-2 FC Halifax Town: "The performance was very good" enthuses Fullarton after final day victory

Jamie Fullarton.
Jamie Fullarton.

FC Halifax Town boss Jamie Fullarton said his side rounded off the season with a "very good" performance in their 2-0 win at Fylde.

The win was Town's second in-a-row against play-off sides following their victory over Wrexham, and came courtesy of first-half goals from Matty Brown and Arlen Birch.

"I think the performance was very good," said Fullarton. "We could quite easily have scored more goals, and we deserved more goals.

"We created some real good chances, so I'm pleased."

Fylde made nine changes ahead of their play-off clash next week, and the much-changed hosts struggled to make much of an impression against a hungry-looking Town side

When asked whether those changes were a factor in the result, Fullarton said: "It's great for Fylde to be in the position to make nine changes.

"You look at the players they brought in, they've all made an impact and contributed to their season.

"Every one of them has experience at this level or the level above, so it wasn't for players that haven't played multiple games this season.

"It just shows, any club that's in a position to make nine changes and have the amount of games under the belt of the team that's picked, shows their strength-in-depth.

"You can only beat what's in-front of you. That is 14 games against the top seven, and we've lost two."

While Fylde's players had the prospect of earning a starting place in their play-off game next week, Town only had league position to play for, although The Shaymen didn't play like it.

"It's never a game that's going to be a dead rubber for any team I'm involved in," said Fullarton, who cited the culture within the Town camp as the factor that has maintained the squad's motivation since survival was ensured.

"It's the culture, which is developed by providing an environment over a period of time, and having players that, credit to them, buy into what you're trying to do.

"Phrases become cliches as they are overused because they're true, and I firmly believe that the players have the approach they do because it's the approach that's set every day.

"If you watched training yesterday and Thursday, you'd have seen our approach was no different from what we did when we were approaching the season in August.

"Any coach's aim is to have a team reflect what they are, and I think their attitude and application today was pleasing to see, because it reflects how I work every day, 52 weeks a year, seven days a week."

Defender Nathan Clarke played the full 90 minutes at Fylde, ensuring he played every minute of every first-team game for Halifax this season.

"It's a real achievement," said Fullarton. "One thing I said to the chairman when I proposed we sign Nathan last summer was that he plays games.

"You just need to look at his record. That doesn't mean he hasn't pick up knocks and niggles this season but he has played through such things, culminating in him playing every minute of every game we've played this season."

The Shaymen recorded their 19th league clean sheet of the season in the win at Fylde, a fitting conclusion to the campaign for the Town defence and goalkeeper - and player of the season - Sam Johnson.

"Sam's been excellent all season," Fullarton said, "but it's a team effort, because if we don't have the protection in-front of the back five, then you're exposed more often and teams have more opportunities to score against you.

"You've got to give credit from the front men all the way through to Sam for our defensive record, and the fact we finish the season on a plus goal difference, when we have not scored as many goals as we probably should have, or definitely wanted to, it highlights how strong we have been defensively.

"On a pro-rata basis, we are in fact better statistically in all areas - points, goals scored, goals conceded etc etc - so it's a step forward and progression.

"There's hard work that goes on behind-the-scenes to give us the platform for progression, work that's unnoticed and unrecognised.

"The driving force is to be better next week, better next month and better next season."