Players deserve plaudits: Aspin hails champion side

BOSS Neil Aspin hailed his players after Town were finally crowned Evo-Stik Premier Division champions after their 2-0 win at Retford on Saturday.

First half goals from Danny Holland and Liam Hogan secured the points and Aspin admitted it was great to secure a place in Conference North next season with five matches of the current campaign remaining.

“We knew that with Buxton’s result in midweek we had won it,” he said. “But you can’t put champions next to your name until you get the points and we got them on Saturday.

“It is great testament to the players because they have done the job. They have worked hard and have always put together runs.

“They have handled the pressure of expectation and to win it with five games to go will take something special from another club to repeat.

“After playing 37 games and only losing four, the players have what they deserve.”

Aspin added that he felt his squad had dealt with the pressure that goes with being title favourites and were far ahead of the chasing pack.

“People have been giving us the title us since January and that puts even more pressure on,” he said.

“The feeling then is that it is yours to lose.

“It has been a slow build to get the championship and I will take a great deal of satisfaction from winning it.

“But you can only enjoy it for so long and you have to start again.”

There were more than 600 fans from Halifax inside Cannon Park to witness the Shaymen clinching a second successive automatic promotion.

And Aspin admitted that the size of the club’s following had been a major factor in his decision to take charge at the club just under two years ago.

“I always said it didn’t matter where we won it,” he said, “The support on Saturday was great and made a good atmosphere.

“The fans have shown great faith in the team to stick with them after they were dropped down three leagues.

“When I first took the job the level of support was one of the reasons I wanted to take it.

Aspin was pleased that his side was able to get the goals they were looking for before the break.

“The players were relaxed but the goals came at a good time for us,” he said.

“Danny Holland’s was a really good finish and I felt he deserved it because he worked exceptionally hard.

“We hadn’t had a clean sheet for seven games and that was something we wanted to put right so it was good to get one.”

Even had Town lost on Saturday they would still have been crowned champions because Colwyn Bay, the last side able to catch them, were held to a goalless draw at Buxton.

FC United strengthened their play-off bid with a 1-0 win over Northwich Victoria at Gigg Lane while Bradford Park Avenue made a move by winning 2-1 at Matlock while both Marine and North Ferriby were losing.

There are still a few places remaining on the official supporters bus for Wednesday’s trip to Whitby. Bookings can be made by calling 07707 143094. The cost will be £10 and transport leaves the Shay at 5pm.