Shaymen can learn from title battles

Town’s experience of successive promotions should stand them in good stead as they bid for a place in the Blue Square Bet North play-offs.

That is the view of boss Neil Aspin as he prepares his side to entertain Histon at the Shay tomorrow (3.0), four days after the disappointment of defeat to Guiseley.

The Shaymen have six matches remaining to clinch a top five place and a large number of the squad - and the manager himself - have the memories of battling to success in the Evo Stik leagues to draw on.

“In the last two seasons we have been involved in races to win the league,” said Aspin whose side received a boost last night when rivals Nuneaton were docked six points for fielding an ineligble player.

“Now it is a battle to get a place in the play offs and it is all about what happens in the last six games.

“In these situations you have to keep your nerve.”

Aspin is not setting any targets - publicly at any rate - but knows that Town will need a large percentage of the 18 points still left to fight for.

“We will need a fair few points out of the remaining games,” he said.

“You might find that teams who have had a blip will start to find their form again.

“The margin for error is getting smaller and smaller and we need to win tomorrow.”

Town’s major problems have come at the Shay where they have lost six times in the league this season.

But if they can reproduce the form they showed in the first half against Guiseley in midweek they will give themselves every chance against Histon.

“We have struggled at home, but in the first half on Tuesday we played some decent football,” said Aspin.

“Teams always have spells in games when they are on top and when we have one we have to make sure we make the most of it.”

Histon arrive in West Yorkshire in decent form - they have lost just twice in their last nine games.

They drew 1-1 with promotion-chasing Nuneaton Town last time out, but are still just four points above the drop zone.

“We cannot afford to take anyone lightly in this league and we will give all opposition the respect they deserve,” said Aspin.

“Histon play good football, have a lad up front who scores goals and on their day they can produce but we have got to make sure we win.”

Aspin is hoping to have loan midfielder Matt Crooks available despite the youngster failing to appear for the second half against Guiseley after picking up an injury.

The manager said the problem was a knock rather than a pull which gave him grounds for optimism.

Defender Scott McManus is likely to undergo a fitness test on the groin problem that forced him to pull out of the side to face Bishop’s Stortford last weekend and kept him sidelined on Tuesday.

There are no other injury problems for Aspin to consider, although he has to decide what to do with Jamie Rainford, an absentee in midweek when he left the ground after being told he was not going to be involved.