FC Halifax Town: Tie still wide open, says Aspin

Actions from Halifax Town v Gateshead, at the Shay Stadium, Halifax. Neil Aspin
Actions from Halifax Town v Gateshead, at the Shay Stadium, Halifax. Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin believes his Gateshead side’s FA Trophy quarter-final with Halifax is still delicately poised after a 0-0 draw at The Shay on Saturday.

The two teams will meet again on Wednesday after an uneventful match that saw Aspin return to Halifax for the first time since leaving the club in September.

Aspin doesn’t feel his side are necessarily the favourites even though they now have home advantage for the replay.

“I’m pleased we’re still in the competition,” he said. “Whether it gives us an advantage or not playing at home (in the replay) we’ll have to see.

“The tie’s still evenly poised regardless of which team’s at home.

“It was a battling display today. There were some good performances from the lads at the back and the goalkeeper.

“Not that he had many shots to save but his handling and decision-making was excellent.

“They’ve had to withstand balls going into the box at the death and they’ve defended very well.

“I’m pleased with the efforts they’re putting in at the moment.”

Aspin felt a draw was a fair result in the game, although he admitted substitute Danny Johnson did go close to sending his team through.

“He’s the type of player that every time we put him on we say ‘he’ll get a chance’,” Aspin said.

“If anybody can come up with a goal there’s a fair chance it’s Danny.

“I don’t know how close they were but you could have seen the net bulge.

“Halifax have had a couple of efforts where they could have scored as well.

“It looked like a draw was a fair result.”

Aspin also conceded Ben Clark could have been shown a second yellow for a challenge on Josh Macdonald in the first-half, which would have altered the complexion of the contest.

He added: “If he hadn’t had the first booking he’d have got the second one.

“It would have been a big factor in the game if he had got sent-off but we’re fortunate he stayed on and he gave a really good display.”