Aspin unhappy with abysmal Town performance at Avenue

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin
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Neil Aspin said his FC Halifax Town side were abysmal in the first-half of their 5-3 pre-season defeat at Bradford Park Avenue.

Town were 4-0 down at the break before Sean Williams, Alex Johnson and Lee Gregory brought the score to 4-3, only for Avenue to put the result beyond doubt with Paul Bolland’s late goal.

The Shaymen boss admitted his team were well below par in the opening half.

He said: “You don’t want to be losing any games or playing poorly but if you’re going to, then it might as well be in pre-season.

“There are obviously certain questions we asked from the first-half and we need to do something about that, which we’ll start to in the next few days.

“We gave away apalling goals, we were absolutely terrible at the back, there was no pressure on the ball, no closing down, no shape, no passion, no determination, no desire and a lot of bad mistakes.

“It’s something to learn from and I need to put that right for when the season starts.

“I’ve learnt more tonight from an abysmal performance than I have from all of the other pre-season games put together.”

But Aspin was pleased with the reaction from his team after the interval following his eight half-time changes.

He said: “We created more chances in the second-half compared to what they did in the first-half. We had some good play but we had to keep chasing the game.

“Regardless of what players do in terms of how they play or if they make mistakes, the minimum you ask is that they give desire and 100 per cent effort and the players in the second-half they did that.

“That’s what we should have from any person who represents the club.

“The lads who played in the second-half got us back in the game and gave us a bit of pride back, which was important and that’s to their credit.”

The match at Avenue came three days after Town’s behind-closed-doors friendly at Middlesborough, which the Shaymen lost 1-0.

Matt Glennon made a return to the team in that game after recovering from an elbow infection, but Aspin said the home keeper was far busier during the match.

He added: “The surface was excellent and in terms of an exercise it was good. Their keeper made six or seven outstanding saves so on another day you’d win comfortably but it wasn’t about that.”

Click on the multimedia link on this page to see a picture gallery from this game. Pictures by Bruce Fitzgerald.