Promotion bid put to the test

Town’s Blue Square Bet North promotion credentials will be put to the test when they entertain Nuneaton at the Shay tomorrow (3.0).

Neil Aspin’s side are currently fourth in the table, level on points with second placed Guiseley.

The Midlanders are breathing down their necks in sixth spot just a couple of points worse off having played one game more.

And Aspin knows that they will be keen to repeat their efforts of last season when they sneaked into the play offs at the expense of Eastwood Town who were deemed ineligible due to their stadium.

“They did well last year when they got to the play offs,” said Aspin. “They are a big non League club and when I watched them earlier in the season they were strong and well organised.

“I know things change but I would expect them to be the same now.

“They are one of the sides that has conceded fewest goals in the league away from home

“And they have only lost three games away all season.”

In games between sides going for a top five finish, the result appears doubly important with the winners enjoying a double bonus of taking points off rivals.

But Aspin insists his side will be approaching the game like they would any other.

“Like the Gainsborough game while it was disappointing to only get a point, it was important not to lose,” he said.

“This is no more or less important than any other game.

“We want to win every game we play and would never set up to do anything else. Sometimes you have to take a point along the way.”

Tomorrow’s game is the first of the season against Nuneaton with the return scheduled for later in the month.

“It is surprising that we have not played them yet,” he said. “It is the same with Bishop’s Stortford as well.

“Only time will tell whether that is a good thing or not, but it appears it would have been better to have played Bishop’s Stortford earlier in the season.”

Having had last weekend’s game against Bishop’s Stortford postponed, Aspin will have a near full strength squad from which to select.

Skipper Tom Baker played three-quarters of Tuesday night’s County Cup clash at Guiseley with no reaction to the calf injury that had forced him to miss a couple of matches.

And Lee Gregory, who left the field clutching his back when the Shaymen played Gainsborough, trained without problem prior to the game.

Will Hatfield will not be part of the Town squad, however, having joined League Two promotion chasers Accrington Stanley.

Aspin revealed the former Leeds United reserve had told him before the Guiseley game that he was going but still turned out in the 1-0 defeat.

“He did not have to play on Tuesday and it was credit to him that he did,” said Aspin.

Hatfield’s departure means Aspin will continue his search for players but said nothing had really changed in that regard.

“I think we will be looking from now to the end of the season,” he said.

“We can take players at any time because we are not bound by the transfer window so it doesn’t matter when we take them.”

Neil Aspin is the open to question guest at the Halifax Town Supporters’ Club meeting on Wednesday, February 8, in the sports bar at the Shay (8pm).

Members and non members of all ages are welcome to attend.