TOWN boss Neil Aspin admitted the 25-minute delay to Saturday’s FA Cup tie at Lancaster due to a crowd disturbance had been disrupting for his players.
The Shaymen were 1-0 up thanks to a Brett Renshaw goal when, after six minutes, scuffles broke out behind Phil Senior’s goal and both sides were eventually led from the field by the referee.
Order was restored after Lancashire police arrived at the ground and the Shaymen went on to book their place in the fourth qualifying round with further goals from Simon Garner and Lee Gregory.
“It is difficult because you get the players up for a game, they come out and they get in front,” said Aspin. “You then have to go back off and it certainly disrupts you, especially when you are playing a certain formation and the opposition have the chance to regroup and can have a look.
“But the referee had no choice in the matter. He had to take the players off and obviously we managed to get back on with no further incidents.”
Despite the fact that Lancaster are a couple of divisions below the Shaymen in the pyramid, Aspin had been expecting a tough examination.
“Given that in the previous round we needed a 95th minute winner to beat Tadcaster, you are not going to take any game lightly,” he said.
“The fact Lancaster won at FC United in the previous round meant it was always going to be a tricky tie.
“But getting an early goal helped and we kept them at arm’s length.
“I was pleased with the way we defended because they had virtually nothing in the game.
“At times we have been poor but on Saturday the players deserve credit because it was important that we progressed.”
Renshaw and Liam Hogan formed the latest central defensive partnership and were part of a back four that kept a third clean sheet of the season.
“We have had lots of problems at centre back this season for various reasons,” he said. “We have had injuries and loss of form.
“It is always difficult when that happens but because we don’t have a replay we have a full week to prepare for the next game.”
Aspin will now be waiting for today’s draw to see who Town play in the next round with the carrot of a game against league opposition for the winners.
“In the last two years we have come up against Conference teams which have been difficult,” he said.
“I would love to progress because it would be good for the club and the players.”
Halifax Town and Calderdale Hospital Radio present an Evening with Martin Atkinson at the Shay Banqueting Suite on Thursday, November 17.
Neil Aspin, Phil Brown and Eric Harrison will complete the guest panel for the evening with tickets costing £12.50, which includes a pie and pea supper.
For tickets or more information contact Pete Stajic on 07852 2076365