TOWN boss Neil Aspin paid tribute to his side’s patience and professionalism as they booked their place in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup with a 6-0 victory over minnows Abbey Hey at the Shay on Saturday.
The visitors made life difficult for Town in the first half, and while the Shaymen always looked on top they were unable to work the vital breakthrough.
That finally came just ahead of the break when Lee Gregory netted, and a minute later it was 2-0 with Chris Worsley striking home.
Those goals clearly settled the nerves and once Jon Worthington made it 3-0 straight after the interval there was always going to be one winner, and the home side duly wrapped things up with further goals from Worthington and a Dale Johnson brace.
“The longer the game goes when it is 0-0, and you are overhewlming favourites to win the game, then it does put you under pressure,” said Aspin.
“It adds to the tension because you know if you make a mistake then you could get knocked out.
“But we were patient and I thought the players coped with the expectation really well.
“It was a good time to score and I was very pleased to get the second one just before half time.”
Aspin was full of praise for the North West Counties League Division One side and personally wished them luck for the remainder of the season after the game.
“I think they set up very well,” added Aspin. “They closed us down and worked exceptionally hard. I thought they were a credit to the manager, their club and their league.
“I did feel it would be hard for them to maintain the workrate for 90 minutes, but we did get the goals at good times.
“We could easily have gone in at half time 0-0 and that was full credit to them.
“Even when they were losing they still passed the ball. They play football in the right manner and there is a good spirit in their team.
“We don’t have a massive squad and I didn’t want to just make changes for the sake of it. We wanted to show Abbey Hey the respect they deserve so that is why we played our strongest team, and I feel that was the proper thing to do
“We weren’t going to win this game and get any credit really and I accepted that.
“Everybody knew we should be winning comfortably and the players did the job we asked them to do, and full credit to them for being professional and for not treating the opposition lightly.”