A HALF-TIME rollicking rather than tactical tinkering got York City's survival fight back on track at Halifax Town.

Last night's 1-1 draw maintains City's six-point advantage over the rock-bottom Shaymen with two games in hand.

Manager Terry Dolan admitted he was grateful for the point after an impoverished first-half display threatened to give Halifax a timely three-point boost in their quest to beat the drop.

Halifax, who took the lead on 12 minutes, dominated the first-half before City finally found some form to grab an equaliser in the second.

Dolan confessed: "I had one or two words to say at half-time let's just leave it at that.

"Hopefully, they listened to me at half-time because our first-half performance was poor but we were a lot better in the second-half."

The City manager used the break to withdraw Chris Smith in favour of striker Lee Nogan with on-loan Jon Parkin switching from attack to defence.

But Dolan rejected a suggestion that the sight of the towering Parkin up front had prompted City to play too many long-balls in the opening period.

"Our passing all around the field in the first-half was poor. It wasn't just because of Jon Parkin up front," he insisted.

"Chris Smith had a bit of a tight hamstring but he wasn't having the best of times so might well have come off at half-time in anyway.

"I thought Jon Parkin did very well when he slotted in at the back and Lee Nogan's experience up front caused a few problems.

"But you can't start a game not firing on all cylinders and expect to win it, no matter who you are playing against.

"We passed the ball better in the second-half and if you can keep possession of the ball then you are going to create chances."

Despite his disappointment at his team's first-half performance Dolan admitted the point picked up was important.

"That's four points from nine away. Had we drawn all three we would have been happy so the extra point is a bonus.

"After the first-half performance it is not a bad point because no matter who you are playing against you have got to be on your mettle for 90 minutes."

Graham Potter, whose cross led to City's equaliser, Graham Mitchell heading the City midfielder's centre into his own net, admitted City were grateful for the point.

"We just weren't good enough in the first-half and were deservedly 1-0 down.

"We picked things up in the second-half and got the goal through a bit of good fortune on our part

"We had to pick it up and I suppose it is to our credit that we did.

"We were taking more care of our passing and we were a lot better when we were too stretched in the first half and our passing was not good enough."

FORMER York City chief Alan Little admitted last night's share-all between the Minstermen and Halifax Town has cranked up the pressure on his relegation-threatened Shaymen

While City can breathe a little easier today, Town boss Little looked upon the 1-1 draw as two points dropped rather than one point gained.

Crucially for City, the draw maintained City's six point advantage over Town. They also have two games in hand.

Halifax have now got just 14 games to preserve their Football League status - more than half of those are away from home - and face Third Division leaders Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

"It wasn't enough," conceded Little.

"People were making this the be all and end all. If we hadn't won we were finished.

"That's not right. There are still a lot of games to go.

"But every game is getting bigger for us and the win has got to come and not just one win but its back to back wins that have got to happen."

He added: "We had a good start with the early goal and had a great first-half when I thought we were far, far the better side.

"We had two or three good sights of goal but didn't take them and in our position one goal is never enough.

"Give York credit, they have come out in the second-half and for 20 minutes they have put us on the back foot.

"They have forced the goal with pressure and the fact it was an own goal put us back on our heels.

"We recovered and had a go at the end and opportunities were there but it was not to be and we are all disappointed.

"It is the 20 minute lapse that has cost us but other than that I have got to be happy with the way we approached it."

Updated: 09:23 Wednesday, February 13, 2002