FC Halifax Town boss Neil Aspin said it was “vital” his side kicked-off their festive schedule with a win after their 2-0 victory over strugglers Nuneaton at the Shay.
Second-half goals from James Bolton and Lois Maynard sealed a deserved win for the Shaymen against a Nuneaton team whose last away win had come back in February.
Aspin said: “It was vital we won. Points on the board is what’s important and it’s another milestone reached getting over the 40-points mark.
“I thought Nuneaton started better but after that we got into the game and grew confidence, started passing the ball better.
“The only unfortunate thing was we couldn’t get a finish but I said to the players at half-time with the record we’ve got at home, if they could keep a clean sheet I fancied our chances to win.”
Nuneaton are still without a win away from home this season, although Aspin was wary about that run of form ending at the Shay.
“They’re going to win somewhere and change that record so it’s vital it wasn’t today,” he said.
“It’s always a bit of a banana skin but we deserved to win the game, there’s no question about that.
“We’ve had a better return of points over the last few games which has put us in a good position.
“There’s still loads of games to play and I’m not unhappy with the position we’re in at the moment.”
Nuneaton’s James Armson was sent-off for an alleged elbow on Scott McManus shortly before Bolton’s opener.
But Aspin felt the red card had little bearing on the result.
“I felt we were always the likelier team to score and I still think we would have scored,” he said.
“I don’t think it was a sending-off, I thought it was harsh.
“In terms of chances and shots on goal we were totally dominant so I would have expected, even with 11 men, we would have got a goal at some stage.”
Bolton got the nod ahead of Simon Ainge due to the former Bradford defender missing training last week, and Aspin said the selection proved the right one.
“James has got a great knack for scoring goals. Even when he doesn’t score he ends up getting chances,” said Aspin.
“It’s a skill because lots of players don’t have as many goals in them if they’re a defender.
“But James is different, things fall to him in the box, he anticipates well and he always chips in with a few goals.
“But he was in for his defensive ability and I thought he played really well.
“He started the season well, he was unfortunate to go out of the team, he got injured.
“But he’s waited for his chance, he came on at Torquay at half-time and did well.
“I felt he deserved to start to day and he’s justified my decision with a really good display.”
Maynard notched his sixth of the season and his fourth in five games late on.
Aspin said: “We’ve encouraged him more to keep making runs into the box and getting forward more.
“That’s what we’ve been trying to do over the last month or so and I think he’s responded to that and has certainly been chipping in with goals.
“Those goals are invaluable because you can’t always get your strikers scoring so to get them from midfield is a bonus and I’m pleased because he’s worked hard.”