Shaymen look to move a step closer to target

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With Town’s rivals for the title, such as they are now, seemingly falling over each other to rule themselves out of the race, Neil Aspin’s side can take another step towards automatic promotion when they travel to the east coast tomorrow.

After Worksop’s recent wobble, Buxton are now struggling to keep up with the pace being set by the Shaymen and 24 hours after Town thrashed Nantwich 6-0 in Cheshire, the Derbyshire outfit were held to a goalless draw by Stocksbridge.

It means that, like Worksop, Buxton can now only get to within 10 points of the Shaymen, who are currently 13 points clear of second placed Colwyn Bay after their midweek defeat to Matlock.

It is clear that Town are in no mood to let things slip, as they proved at Nantwich with an impressively dominant display.

Town responded well to Aspin’s call for an improved performance after they had mis-fired against Kendal seven days earlier and no one would have known that Nantwich were the home side as they struggled to make any kind of impact at all.

Lee Gregory made the most of the Shaymen’s total control as he bagged a hat-trick and while they eventually scored six - all of them in the second half - it could have been so many more.

At the same time that the Shaymen were finding the net on a regular basis, Whitby were losing 6-0 at North Ferriby - their worst defeat for 23 years.

It was their first game since they had been thrashed 4-0 at FC United of Manchester 10 days earlier and saw them slip to third from bottom in the table on goal difference.

They have won just twice in the last eight - 2-0 at home to Stocksbridge and 3-1 at Marine - and are in real danger of going down if they cannot find some form.

That, of course, makes them a threat, but they will be acutely aware of the fact that they were hammered 5-1 at the Shay back in September.

That was the first game in Town’s 10-match winning run in the league that saw them storm from mid table up to the top.

James Dean, who was forced to settle for a place on the bench in midweek, bagged a hat-trick in that match with Danny Holland, the man who replaced him, scoring twice.

And since then the Shaymen have got Jamie Vardy fit and providing chances and have brought back Lee Gregory, whose treble at Nantwich took his tally to 12 goals in 10 games.

The firepower they possess will terrify tomorrow’s hosts and if they start like they played throughout the 90 minutes in midweek, the Shaymen should have little trouble picking up another maximum haul.