"We didn't maintain control of the game" admits Millington after Altrincham defeat

Chris Millington. Photo: Marcus BranstonChris Millington. Photo: Marcus Branston
Chris Millington. Photo: Marcus Branston
Town boss Chris Millington admitted his side deserved nothing from the game after their 2-1 Boxing Day defeat at Altrincham.

Matty Warburton's free-kick had put Halifax ahead, but second-half goals from Ryan Colclough and Chris Conn-Clarke completed a comeback win for the home side.

"We felt the first-half had gone in such a way that we deserved the lead, we were fairly comfortable as an away performance, coming to a place where the opposition likes to play football and likes to have possession, I thought we controlled that very well," said Millington.

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"We defended from the front, we had a good amount of possession ourselves, so going in 1-0 at half-time didn't feel like it was an unfair scoreline.

"The first goal of the second-half was always going to be all-important, and up until that, there wasn't really anything in it, it was a pretty drab start to the second-half.

"But they got the break, the ball breaks to Colclough, he finishes and then they get the impetus, their tails are up and we never really got a grip of the game again.

"That's all on us, we've got to give Altrincham some credit because they're a good side, they dish the ball about well, but we were 1-0 up and we didn't maintain control of the game.

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"The equaliser came out of nothing, but then the last half-hour of the game was all them and we never matched them."

When asked if he felt the winner was coming, Millington said: "To a degree but that was after a spell of five to ten minutes where we had started to get a foothold in the second-half, and then a poor mistake giving them the ball, the lad runs through, cuts inside and it's a soft goal to concede.

"We've been masters of our own downfall, both goals avoidable, for both we put ourselves in a position where we're giving them an opportunity to score, which is unlike us.

"It's the first game in a good while that I genuinely believe we deserved to lose, because we did deserve to lose it, once they got the equaliser we were poor and there were too many players just not at it at all."

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On why he felt his side were below par in the second-half, the Town boss said: "At this stage, I'm not sure.

"I can speculate, we go 1-0 up and because of recent results maybe one or two lads think that's job done and didn't come out in the second-half ready to do what's required to earn the result.

"As a result of that, we're going away with nothing, but that's speculation, I've got to have a bit of time to calm down and look back on the game and try to assess it in a cooler sense, but I'm really disappointed with the way we performed second-half."

Striker Mani Dierseruvwe was taken off midway through the second-half in place of Yamen Osawe.

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"I just thought he might be able to stretch it and threaten in behind a little bit more," Millington said.

"I thought if we maintained possession better we needed a threat of the shoulder a bit more and we thought he might offer that.

"As it was we never got hold of the ball long enough to really see whether or not that was going to come off."

Jesse Debrah missed out on the game due to illness.

"Jesse was ill back end of last week and unavailable for selection, but I'd hope he recovers in time for the return game."

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Captain Tom Clarke was also ill, but should also be available for the game on New Year's Day.

On why Jamie Cooke was dropped to the bench, Millington said: "He had taken a knock at the Guiseley game, but also Matty Warburton's done enough in recent weeks to warrant a start."

Alongside Cooke on the bench was Jack Senior.

"He had a knock from last weekend he was recovering from," Millington said. "He'd only trained one day this week so we didn't want to risk him from the start."

Striker Rob Harker was left out of the squad completely.

"Yamen and Milli Alli both played well midweek," Millington said.

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"Rob's off the back of an illness himself, so it was a mixture of both."

Millington said Sam Minihan and Sam Smart missed out due to selection rather than any injuries.

And on defender Jamie Stott, Millington said: "He's had an operation, so they've put a plate in where he's got a double fracture of the cheek, so he'll be looking at around six to eight weeks before he's available."

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