Hogan’s ready for more work

TOWN will have more space to play in when they travel to Buxton at the weekend than they did last time out in the league against Ashton.

That is the view of centre back Liam Hogan who knows that he and his fellow defenders will be busier in Derbyshire than they were against the Manchester outfit.

Ashton came to West Yorkshire to frustrate the Shaymen and it almost worked, Jamie Vardy eventually finding a way through with a couple of minutes remaining.

Buxton have games in hand on the teams currently occupying the play-off places and will be desperate to win as they cling on to an outside hope of hunting down the Shaymen.

“Buxton will want to win the game because they are chasing us,” said Hogan. “Maybe the quality we have all over the park will show.

“We have to keep it tight but it is nice to get the ball at your feet and get some of the attacking moves started.

“From the start of the game on Saturday Ashton set up defensively to try to contain us and that made it difficult to play.

“Some teams have opened up at the Shay and allowed us to play by getting the strikers on the ball.

“Ashton were one of the better teams at coming doing what they came to do and credit to them for that.”

Hogan can play at the weekend but will be sidelined for next Tuesday’s Shay clash with Stocksbridge Park Steels as he serves a one-match ban following his red card against Worksop.

The classy central defender was dismissed after picking up two cautions - the first for a retaliatory lunge on a Worksop player and the second for a mistimed challenge

“I got a little elbow but shouldn’t have reacted the way I did,” said Hogan. “The first booking was silly because I just went through the back of the lad.

“I was still annoyed at that time but at this level I should be able to chalk it off and get on with the game.

“For the second challenge the lad got away from me and I thought I had found a position from which I could tackle him.

“Nine times out of 10 this season I have made the tackle, but he got a toe on the ball and it looked rash.

“I will learn from that and it won’t happen again.”

After Town’s lead at the top of the Evo Stik Premier Division was cut to 11 points by Colwyn Bay’s 1-0 win at Northwich on Tuesday, Matlock picked up another three points with a 2-1 win at Whitby Town last night.

They were behind at the break but fought back with Ross Hannah, rumoured to be about to join Torquay, scoring an 86th minute winner.

Saturday’s opponents Buxton also picked up three points from a 1-0 win at lowly Hucknall Town.

P W D L F A PTS

FC Halifax 29 21 5 3 76 22 68

Matlock Town 30 18 3 9 56 34 57

Colwyn Bay 32 17 6 9 49 47 57

North Ferriby Utd 30 17 5 8 61 37 56

Marine 32 16 5 11 63 54 53

Buxton 28 15 5 8 53 34 50

FC United 30 16 2 12 56 41 50

Northwich 30 13 8 9 51 42 47

Kendal Town 29 14 5 10 58 54 47

Worksop 25 13 5 7 45 32 44

Chasetown 27 13 4 10 46 36 43

Bradford P A 29 12 7 10 50 46 43

Burscough 32 11 6 15 49 54 39

Nantwich Town 29 10 4 15 52 67 34

Ashton Utd 30 10 3 17 42 52 33

Stocksbridge P S 29 9 5 15 48 52 32

Whitby 28 8 7 13 36 53 31

Hucknall 30 8 7 15 38 58 31

Mickleover Sports 27 8 6 13 44 49 30

Frickley 28 7 8 13 30 44 29

Ossett Town 31 7 4 20 37 76 25

Retford Utd 31 4 2 25 26 82 14

Tonight's games (7.45 unless stated)

UEFA Europa League: Ajax v Spartak Moscow (8.05) Bayer Leverkusen v Villarreal (6.00) Benfica v PSG (8.05) Braga v Liverpool (6.00) CSKA Moscow v FC Porto (at Luzhniki Stadium) (6.00) Dynamo Kiev v Man City (8.05) FC Twente v Zenit St Petersburg (8.05) PSV v Rangers (6.00)