HALIFAX Town got exactly what they deserved at Buxton on Saturday - nothing.
That was the view of boss Neil Aspin after watching his side slip to only their fourth league defeat of the season.
Tom Baker fired the Shaymen in front from the penalty spot with 20 minutes remaining.
But a double from Sam Johnson ensured they returned to West Yorkshire empty handed.
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“It is not like a game where we dominated and lost,” said Aspin, “We got what we deserved.
“I will defend my team when they play well and deserve to get something, but on Saturday were poor
“We deserved to lose because we were not good enough.”
Aspin was clearly very disappointed with the way his side had performed.
And he pulled no punches as he explained exactly why they had been beaten at The Silverlands.
“We didn’t play well at all from start to finish even though we were always in the game,” he said.
“We didn’t play with enough tempo, we didn’t get enough crosses in or shots at goal.
“We surrendered too much possession, got pushed back too much and were on the back foot for long periods in the second half.
“We were fortunate to be in front and I was disappointed with the goals we conceded.
“We were poor in the second half at Chasetown when we lost and this was as poor as we have played all season.
“If you have 11 players and most don’t play well, you are not going to get results.”
Having gone ahead thanks to Baker’s goal, the Shaymen might have been expected to have held on.
But Johnson scored twice from close range although the manager refused to point the finger at his normally reliable defence.
“To be fair to the back four they kept us in it for long periods,” he said, “But it was poor defending for both goals.
“They have been solid but on Saturday when we needed them to keep a clean sheet we didn’t.
“It would be wrong to single the back four out for criticism.”
Aspin’s preparations for the game were disrupted before kick off when Lee Gregory reported in sick and Lee Ellington was promoted to the starting line-up.
He eventually made a late appearance on the bench and played the final 19 minutes.
But it was a difficult afternoon for new signing Ellington to make his first start since arriving from Harrogate Town.
“Lee Gregory was not named on the team sheet originally because he has been ill,” said Aspin.
“Then he said he could possibly come on and do 15 or 20 minutes so we put him on the bench.
“We have a few players struggling with injuries, but so do other teams.
“You have to expect that at this time of the season.
“Lee Ellington wasn’t going to play, then he had to be thrown in.
“You have to create chances for a goalscorer and he had one half chance.”
Colwyn Bay cut Town’s lead at the top of the table to eight points as they win 3-2 at relegation-threatened Ossett Town although the Welshmen have played three games more than the Shaymen.
But the damage was limited by defeats for third placed Matlock, who went down 1-0 at Kendal, and fourth-placed North Ferriby United who were beaten 2-1 at home by Northwich Victoria.
FC United of Manchester maintained their bid for the play offs with a 2-1 win over Worksop.