Town boss happy with draw in testing circumstances

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin was pleased with a point as his FC Halifax Town side fought out a 2-2 at Aldershot.

Lee Gregory moved his total up to 19 for the season with two more goals to start and end the scoring, with Aldershot levelling just before the break and taking the lead midway through the second-half.

The Town boss was unhappy at referee Craig Hicks’ decision to award Aldershot a penalty moments before Gregory’s first goal, and the fact that the official got in the way of a Town clearance in the build-up to Jordan Roberts’ goal seconds before the interval.

Town also lost defender Simon Ainge and midfielder Matty Pearson to injury, playing the second-half with a makeshift defence, but Aspin was happy with what he saw from his team in adversity.

He said: “I was expecting a tough game and as it panned out you can’t legislate for what happened but taking everything into consideration I have to be pleased with a point.

“I don’t think it was a penalty, justice was done when he put it wide and we got the goal with a good finish from Lee Gregory.

“We were unlucky with the equaliser for the referee to get in the way in the fourth minute of stoppage time is a bit of a kick in the teeth.

“All in all, it was a difficult afternoon but we’ve come through it and I’m happy with a point.”

Gregory is now joint top-scorer in the Skrill Premier with 17 goals, and Aspin says his start striker deserves credit for his red-hot form this season.

He said: “He’s a man in form and I think those goals make him the top scorer in the division.

“That’s a tremendous achievement when you’ve just been promoted and you look at all the personnel the big clubs have.

“For a part-time club to have the top-scorer at this level is a great testament firstly to Lee and also for the team.

“His ratio of converting the chances that have come his way has been excellent.”

Simon Ainge and Matt Pearson both had to be substituted with injuries, leaving Aspin to rue his luck but praise

He said: “To lose Aingey in the first few minutes was a blow and it meant you’re having to move people from midfield into the back-four and it changes everything.

“Then to lose Matt Pearson you’re then really struggling because we don’t have defenders on the bench.

“You’re really scratching around who can play full-back, you’ve already got Jon Challinor at left-back so you’ve then got to play somebody else out of position.

“I suppose Craig drew the short straw in the fact that he said he’d play there but to be fair he’s done a good job because they were a threat down their left side.

“It’s not easy when you’ve just joined a club and you’re trying to get a contract to then play out of position.”