Gateshead 0-0 FC Halifax Town: Players should be proud of their efforts, says Heath
Town boss Billy Heath said his team should be proud of themselves after their 0-0 draw at Gateshead on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Shaymen were the better of the two sides and hit the woodwork twice through Matty Kosylo and Adam Morgan before Kosylo was sent-off for two yellow cards in the second-half.
“We’ve hit the crossbar twice and had another couple of decent opportunities,” Heath said. “Scott McManus has had a good chance.
“We were unfortunate today. We were just missing that little bit of luck.
“We spoiled it a little bit when Matty got sent-off. After that our attacking threat was limited but we did create a couple of chances even with 10-men.
“But the players have been absolutely magnificent. We had to dig in but we still played some decent stuff, defended as if our lives depended on it.
“The team-spirit and desire was fantastic. I’m really proud of the lads today and they should be proud of themselves.”
Heath was unhappy with referee Andrew Miller’s decision to send Kosylo off for what appeared to be an innocuous tackle near the half-way line.
The Town boss said: “He’s playing really well at the minute. He’s going to nick the ball, he’s not going to kick the lad.
“If he nicks the ball then he’s clean through on goal, but he’s caught the lad. I think it was only his second foul of the game.
“Matty is what he is. He’s small so he gets bumped and dragged, so he has to stand his ground. But it’s not a reckless challenge.”
Heath again praised the attitude of his part-time team, who battled through their second match in three days after their 2-0 win over Guiseley on Saturday.
“Scott McManus was clinging on by his fingertips fitness-wise because he’s played very little football then he plays two games in three days,” Heath said.
“Nathan Hotte came back from his hamstring. Sam Johnson has made a crucial save at the right time. It’s also his handling with all the long-throws they put on him. If you’re a keeper at this level you should be able to make good saves, that’s the easy part. It’s the other choices you make, and Sam’s were magnificent.
“The boys have shown a lot of character. This is a difficult place to come, their home record is very good. We’ve had a good day again.”
Town switched between 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 during the game, partly due to injuries picked up during the match.
“We played Scott McManus in front of Josh Wilde just to give us a bit of flexibility in case we wanted to swap formations, which we did,” said Heath.
“After 10 minutes we weren’t as cohesive as we wanted to be. Their formation was causing us a bit of concern but once we switched it and put Kosylo centrally, we were on top for big periods of the second-half.
“Another injury to Cliff doesn’t help. He tweaked his hamstring. It just seems to be injury after injury at the minute. But then Josh Macdonald cam in seamlessly.
“It’s been phenomenal what they’ve done over the weekend, and it’s a really good point today. We’re just slightly disappointed we didn’t get three.”
Town have now recorded five clean sheets in their first seven games of the season.
“The nice thing is we’re not setting up negative,” Heath added. “We set up as a 4-4-2 today so it’s not like we’re being overly cautious or playing a flat five, a four and a one.
“We’re just getting the balance right and being backed up by really good individual performances.
“Tom Denton again - I’m running out of things to say because he was absolutely outstanding today.”