Aspin knew Matt could do a job

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Town boss Neil Aspin has revealed he tried to bring young midfielder Matt Crooks to the Shay earlier this season but was turned down by Huddersfield.

The teenager gave another mature display in the middle of the park - and scored his first goal in a Town shirt - in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Histon.

And Aspin was quick to thank Terriers boss Simon Grayson for allowing the youngster to come to Halifax.

“He was a player we did try to get earlier in the season but it probably took a change of manager at Huddersfield that allowed him to come here and we are grateful for that,” said the Shay chief.

“Every game he has played he has got into the box and that is something we have lacked this season.

“He eats up the ground to get there.

“Sometimes you take young lads from League clubs and they find it difficult, but that has not been the case with him.”

Ross Hannah scored twice and Lee Gregory was also on target, taking his season’s tally to 17, as the Shaymen eased to victory.

“Lee Gregory has done well in terms of goals to games played,” said Aspin. “We need him to be firing towards the end of the season.

“If you have players scoring goals you always have a chance to win matches.

“We brought Ross Hannah in to do that and he has five in four games which is a good return.

“He was just feeling his hamstring in the second half but was sensible enough to let us know and we were able to take him off.”

Aspin added that he expected the man on loan from Bradford City to be ready to face Stalybridge Celtic at Bower Fold on Good Friday.

Saturday’s win was Town’s first at the Shay for a month and was crucial as Guiseley, Nuneaton, Gainsborough, Stalybridge and Worcester also picked up points.

“I was quite confident from the start,” said Aspin. “We restricted them to one shot in the first half, although it hit the woodwork which was a warning.

“But we weren’t being sloppy at the back, didn’t them chances, and I was confident if we could get the lead we could win the match.

“Two-nil up at the interval was a good position to be in.

“We had keeper Simon Eastwood to thank for keeping it at 2-0 with a couple of great saves at the start of the second half.

“But once we got the third it was game over and for once we have had a comfortable end to the game.”

Out of favour striker Jamie Rainford was running hard on the Shay pitch 90 minute before kick off and he also joined in the pre-match warm up.

And Aspin revealed that the former Chester man had cleared the air with his Shay teammates and could even be back in contention for Friday’s game in Manchester

“We spoke on Friday,” said Aspin. “I had been very disappointed with his attitude.

“But he was man enough to come in on Saturday, speak to the players and apologise.

“He has done the work I asked him to do, he’ll train tomorrow and will be considered for Friday’s game.

“I don’t have a problem if players don’t like me. The problem comes if it spreads to problems with other players.

“As long as all the players accept him, I don’t have a problem picking him.

Given Saturday’s result, Rainford may have to settle for a place on the bench at Stalybridge and Aspin has urged him to make the most of any opportunity he gets.

“Sometimes it is difficult when you come on as a substitute,” he said. “But that is the nature of the game and you have to take your chance when you get it.”

Fans will have noticed that Aspin’s fairly strict black boots only policy has been allowed to slip in the closing weeks of the campaign.

Scott McManus was sporting a new pair of white boots, Danny Lowe’s were blue and there is the promise of more chances to come in the last five games.

“It has gone out of the window to the end of the season,” said Aspin.

“We have tried everything at home without getting the results.

“I have had to be flexible as a manager and let them wear what they want if they produce the performances.”