Shaymen move into contention

Town will end 2011 exactly where they want to be at the halfway stage of the Blue Square bet North campaign - in the play off places.

Neil Aspin’s side leapfrogged Gainsborough Trinity into fifth place in the league with a 1-0 win in North Lincolnshire on Boxing Day.

And the Town boss was a happy man after a last minute James Dean header secured their fourth successive victory.

“At times earlier in the season I did not think we would be ending the year in such a good position,” he said.

“There is a long way to go but at least we are in a position we hoped we would be.

“You can analyse games but in the end it is about the result and that was a big win for us.”

As the game moved towards its conclusion, Aspin admitted he was ready to settle for a point and have another go at the same opposition at the Shay on New Year’s Day.

“It was a poor game in terms of quality and I always felt one goal would decide it,” he said. “Late in the game I was thinking if we got a draw we could get them back to the Shay in reach.

“Even though we have not been at our best at home I always felt that was out best chance of beating them out of the two games. To get the winning goal was a bonus.”

Dean’s header was unstoppable and his overall contribution drew praise from his manager.

“Sometimes with forwards you look at the goals they score and nothing else,” said Aspin. “But when you go away from home, against a side with four six-foot plus players in their team you have to do a defensive job and James Dean is very good at that.

“His goal will give him confidence, but he worked hard - and has worked hard since he came back from his ban.”

In addition to winning, Town kept a second clean sheet in three games.

“The key to the improvement on form has been the defence,” said Aspin. “We had to chop and change against Hinckley and brought in Luke Ashworth on Boxing Day.

“But you need to try to get a partnership down the middle and if you look at Gainsborough they have not had a lot of changes at the back and they don’t give much away.”

Keeping Trinity out was never a foregone conclusion and there were some heart-stopping moments.

“I will be honest and say there were a couple of occasions when I thought Gainsborough had scored,” said Aspin. “I expected they would get chances over the 90 minutes, but we kept a decent line and their first half chances were down to our poor play.

“They will always produce something but the keeper’s done his job and we got some good blocks in.”