A great day for the Shaymen

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It is tough to lose an FA Cup tie 4-0 when clearly there was never four goals between the teams.

That was Town’s fate at the weekend and while, quite correctly, they earned plenty of plaudits for their efforts, it was a shame that Charlton bagged three goals in the final 10 minutes.

The second was clearly the killer and you could see blue shirted shoulders slumping almost in unison as the ball hit the back of the net.

I could not help feeling as Charlton’s players and management all came out to say the scoreline flattered them what might have been had Tom Baker’s fierce drive not hit the bar, had Jamie Rainford’s well struck effort not been saved or if Lee Gregory had been an inch further forward and connected with Jason St Juste’s cross.

All those chances came with the Addicks one-up and would surely have changed the course of the game.

Instead, Town’s players had to smile through gritted teeth as they heard from the opposition how well they played, one even suggesting the Shaymen had given Charlton their biggest test of the season.

It was, however, a great day with a record breaking turnout at the Shay for the new club and, by my reckoning, the biggest football crowd since the old Town played Bradford City in a League Cup clash in September 1998.

There were more there than watched the Shaymen draw with Stoke City or face Chester City - neither of which were live on TV - so they must be doing something right.

It has been a great run for Neil Aspin and his players and will have given everyone a taste of the big time.

The club is back on the national footballing map and director Bobby Ham spoke sensibly and enthusiastically about the future throughout the build up.

The key now will be to push on in Blue Square Bet North so they can move another step closer to a return to the Football League.

The FA Cup claimed a major casualty with Northampton Town manager Gary Johnson quitting the club after their defeat at the hands of Blue Square Bet Premier Luton.

It might also have had something to do with the fact that the Cobblers are currently 20th in League Two and in danger of joining the Hatters in non league football.

A quick reminder of what promises to be a entertaining evening on Thursday at the Shay Banqueting Suite when Premier League referee Martin Atkinson is the guest speaker.

He has a tough act to follow with World Cup final referee Howard Webb having visited Calderdale in the not too distant past but I am assured that Atkinson is equally entertaining.

Tickets for the event, held jointly by Town and Calderdale Hospital Radio, cost just £12.50 and include a pie and pea supper.

And as if Atkinson’s presence was not enough, organisers have brought in Phil Brown, Eric Harrison and Neil Aspin in as guest panellists. Call 07852 207635 for tickets of more information.