Another crucial clash for Town

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Six days after defeating Gainsborough with a late James Dean goal, Town will try to repeat the result on home soil tomorrow.

And a quickfire Blue Square Bet North double would be just the job to start what promises to be a thrilling 2012.

It would be nice if Town did not leave it as late as they did at Northolme where they triumphed with a last minute header.

But in the final analysis, a win of any description would do Neil Aspin and his players nicely.

The imponderable is who will have gained most from the game last Monday afternoon.

Gainsborough had the chances to have gone ahead in the Boxing Day clash but a mixture of good defending, some brilliant goalkeeping from Simon Eastwood, and poor finishing from Trinity ensured the game was level going into the final minute.

The Shaymen passed the ball around well in the second half and looked to be getting on top on more than one occasion.

But they required a slice of luck from Liam Needham in the build up, a decent cross from skipper Tom Baker and a magnificent centre forward’s header from James Dean to finally get the breakthrough.

Overall, the quality of the football was not the best, but the stakes were high and there was enough tension inside Northolme to ensure interest among the 1200-plus crowd was maintained throughout.

When the sides met on Boxing Day it was a clash of the side with the third best home record against the team with the third best away record.

It will be a far different story tomorrow at the Shay where Town have struggled on occasions this season.

They have only the 10th best home record going into the new year with less than a 50 per cent win rate in West Yorkshire.

Gainsborough have the seventh best record on the road so should be less of a threat.

Both sides will be looking to do something about their current records.

And in recent games the Shaymen have with wins over Blyth Spartans and Hinckley United.

Gainsborough would, quite correctly, consider themselves better equipped than those teams but they know that Town have the confidence of the win in north Lincolnshire to fall back on.

It should be a fascinating contest and is the second of three successive games against high-ranked opposition at the start of 2012.

Town go to Corby for their second game of the new year in seven days’ time before entertaining fellow play-off hopefuls Worcester City on January 14.

And if they can come through the next three matches unscathed they will be set fair to make a real challenge on the teams above them in the weeks after that.

These are exciting times for the Shaymen as they look to complete a hat-trick of promotions under Aspin.