Aspin says Town were lacklustre at Clitheroe

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin
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Neil Aspin admitted his side put in a below-par performance as FC Halifax Town drew 1-1 at Clitheroe.

Town’s fourth game of pre-season got off to the perfect start with Dan Gardner’s fifth-minute opener, but Clitheroe pegged the visitors back immediately and competed well against their higher league opponents.

The Shaymen boss said most of his team had done little to impress in the battle for first-team places.

He said: “I thought we were lacklustre. Tonight wasn’t a performance where many players can say they’ve pushed themselves to the front of the queue.

“Taking nothing away from Clitheroe because I thought they did very well and gave us a really good game, but I thought we were very poor.

“Our passing was poor and it wasn’t a good performance.

“We got off to a good start and that normally means you can go on and dominate the game but Clitheroe scored a really good goal and they deserved to get back in the game.

Centre-back Matt Clarke, originally set to be one of two triallists involved at Clitheroe, was given a first-half run-out, and Aspin says he will have another look at the former Bradford defender before making a verdict.

He said: “I thought we would’ve had another player tonight but he decided to play in another game, so we only had Matt.

“We don’t have a great deal of time to be looking at players but I felt we could have a look at Matt.

“You don’t judge anyone on 45 minutes. The fact he’s just had a long flight back on Monday meant he probably wasn’t in the best of shape but I’ll probably have another chance to look at him then make a decision.

Youngster Jake Hibbs also made an appearance for Town after winning the trial competition held over the summer, and the Town boss said he’s been impressed by what he’s seen of the midfielder so far.

He said: “I watched the game at the end when they’d whittled it down to a number of players and the lad did well in the game I watched.

“He’s only 17 and if you’re going to pick somebody out, we want somebody who’s young and who can try and prosper.

“He’s got a good attitude and it wasn’t the easiest game for him to come into tonight but we had a practice match a couple of weeks ago and he did pretty well.

“There’s no pressure on him but we can introduce him gradually into the squad and see how he does, but we’ll take it slowly with him.”