Aspin praise for battling display

Boss Neil Aspin admitted that he feared his side’s play off hopes had all but disappeared when they conceded two goals in the opening 12 minutes of last night’s semi-final first leg at Gainsborough.

But his side showed plenty of fighting spirit and battled to a 2-2 draw thanks to a Lee Gregory double which sets up a fascinating second leg at the Shay on Sunday.

Paul Connor did the early damage from a couple of free kicks and there cannot have been a Town fan inside Northolme who could see a way back.

“At 2-0 down it looked like, after a lot of hard work to get here, our season was finished,” said Aspin.

”It looked like it would be all over before half time.

“Defending set pieces has been our Achilles heel all season and to concede from two in the first 12 minutes could not have been any worse.

“But it was even worse because we worked on defending set pieces at training on Tuesday night.

“I must praise the team because it would have been easy to go under, especially in such a big game in the play offs.

“But they plugged away and got themselves back in the game before half time.”

Gregory struck the first of his two blows with a couple of first half minutes remaining and it could not have been more timely

“The first goal was vital for us, it made a massive difference,” said Aspin.

“It gave us a bit of impetus and I think it knocked the stuffing out of them.

“I felt at half time we were coming into the game.”

The winning goal was a special one with Gregory having to find the net from an almost impossible angle after the keeper had made a hash of a clearance.

“The back pass was spinning and difficult to deal with,” said Aspin.

“I thought he was going to miss it but I didn’t know if Lee Gregory would be able to finish it because it was tight.

“He deserved his goals because he played exceptionally well.”

The sides will now start all square at the Shay on Sunday with the prospect of one more win after that to gain promotion.

“It is set up really nicely for Sunday,” said Aspin.

“If you asked me whether I wanted to play a one-off game at home or away I would pick at home.

“I know we have had problems at the Shay but you want to be in front of your own supporters.

“But it is our away form this season that has got us where we are and they showed again last night they are difficult to beat.”

Guiseley also came from behind in their semi-final at Nuneaton to draw 1-1.

Danny Glover gave the midlanders an early lead but Matthew Wilson bagged a late leveller for the West Yorkshire side.

Copies of Johnny Meynell’s book, Halifax Town the complete history, will be available at the Supporters Club stalls before Sunday’s game at the reduced price of £15.

The final batch of centenary plates (£20) and mugs (£6) are also available.

Advance orders can be placed for the plates and books by e-mailing supportersclub@halifaxafc.co.uk and free local delivery is still available for both items.