Aspin: Pitch hampered us during Dartford draw

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin insisted the Shay pitch played its part in his side’s frustrating 0-0 draw with 10-man Dartford.

Town failed to score for the third consecutive game and came up against a stubborn Dartford side as well as an awful pitch.

Aspin admitted the relegation-threatened visitors were the happier of the two teams with the result but was frustrated at the state of the surface, which he said hampered his players going forward.

“It’s obviously a better point for Dartford than it is for us,” said Aspin.

“I’m the manager and I’ll accept criticism if the team’s not playing well but to try and play at any tempo on that surface, you just can’t do it.

“It’s virtually impossible so when you get a sending-off and two banks of four it becomes very difficult.

“I’m not going to criticise the players too much because I’ve walked on the pitch at the end of the game and you’re asking players to try and pass and be creative on that and it’s very, very difficult.”

Town started with Jack Muldoon, Richard Peniket, Scott Boden and Danny Hattersley all in the side but struggled to carve out enough gilt-edged chances.

Aspin admitted his side are going through a difficult time after their third consecutive game without a goal.

He said: “We were positive, we went to try and win the game.

“You only need one of them to score and you expect one of them could make the chance to get a goal.

“But when you’re not scoring goals confidence is a little bit low.

“It’s difficult at home because expectations are higher and the crowd get on the players’ back, which can only make you worse.

“Players have got to be strong and have got to try and keep holding their heads up, try and play through when they’re having a difficult spell.

“The only way they can get the supporters on their side is by doing something good or something that lifts them.

“It is difficult at the moment, I accept that.

“But at any club you have to take the good with the bad and try and get behind the team when it’s difficult, and this is a difficult time.”

Aspin had no doubts about the red card for Dartford’s Lee Burns, but thought the sending-off may have worked against his team.

He said: “I think he accepted it and went straight off. It was a good through ball and we actually looked like we could score when they had 11 men on - it made it worse in some respects.

“Sometimes you play against teams with 10-men who still carry a threat going forward.

“I don’t criticise Dartford but they were determined they were going to sit everyone back and didn’t really bother attacking at all.

“So it was difficult, very frustrating.

“I accept if you’re a supporter you want to see good football, chances, excitement.

“You get various amounts of criticism from the sidelines but I did hear one person say ‘how do you play on that pitch’ and it comes down to that.

“You just need to walk on it to find out how difficult it is.”