Maidstone 0-0 FC Halifax Town: We controlled the second-half, says Fullarton

Town boss Jamie Fullarton thought his side's second-half performance in their 0-0 draw at Maidstone was as commanding as any half of football since he has been in charge.

Monday, 30th April 2018, 11:05 am
Updated Monday, 30th April 2018, 11:06 am
Jamie Fullarton. Photo by John Bradley.

Halifax grew into the game, creating some good chances after the interval before Mike Fondop-Talom missed a late penalty.

That preceded a late flurry of Maidstone chances, with Sam Johnson producing two excellent saves to keep the hosts out.

“If you look at the course of the game, I think the first-half was very even,” Fullarton reflected.

“We could have just started at half-time. We started the second-half reasonably well with some control of the game, and it sparked into life in the last 10 minutes.

“Events during a game define the route it takes - we missed a penalty and the momentum switches, they’ve had a couple of gilt-edged chances.

“For 40 minutes before the penalty, we were in good control of the game and were never under any real pressure at all.

“I think it was coming, there was a lot of good play from ourselves, the boys not only showed that attitude and application that we demand, but understanding of what’s being asked of them and what we’ve been working on, so that was pleasing.

“We were in as much control of a game in that 40 minutes as we have been since I’ve been here, in terms of possession.”

Fullarton was pleased with his side’s approach to the match, with The Shaymen gradually working their way into the contest - had Fondop-Talom scored his penalty, it would have capped a textbook away performance.

“When you come away from home, you’ve got to stay in the game,” Fullarton said.

“If you do that, like we did today and in other away performances, you eventually come into it, as we did.

“There were many aspects that were pleasing. The boys showed the attitude that we try to win every game, that was evident today.

“Credit to Maidstone, they were trying to win the game too, which made the last 15 minutes exciting.”

On Fondop-Talom’s penalty miss, following on from Matty Kosylo’s missed spot-kick last week against Tranmere, Fullarton said: “I can only comment on the penalties since I’ve been here, and what makes you more aware of it is that we’ve missed two penalties in two weeks.

“It’s an opportunity from 12 yards, one-on-one where there’s a general consensus among fans that you should never miss.

“There’s other factors that influence what happens. The biggest thing that is a result of missing a penalty is a shift of momentum, and that’s where it’s a good learning curve for the players.

“You’ve got to manage the game, because that gives the opposition a spur to kick on, so we’ll look to do a bit better than we did in terms of managing the game after the penalty.”

Fullarton was impressed by Johnson’s display, especially his two late saves.

“I don’t like singling out anyone, but in that period where we didn’t manage it well, and the momentum went from us, Sam stepped up to it after last week where we were disappointed with the goals we lost,” said Fullarton.

“Sam’s reaction this week is great credit to him.”

Several players in the Town line-up are out of contract, and Fullarton was pleased the uncertainty around the future of most of his squad didn’t affect their performances.

“The character and culture we’re trying to create was on show today, whether the player was under contract or not,” he added.

“That’s really pleasing as a manager when you work with players who are out of contract, and you don’t know if they might have other thoughts in their mind.

“But credit to them. This group of players has to take great credit for how they’ve responded to what’s been asked of them.

“There was evidence of that attitude and application that we demand, laced with understanding of what we’re trying to do.”