Town close in on title

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TOWN could wrap up the Evo Stik title by next weekend - if they can beat Nantwich on Tuesday and Matlock on Saturday, both at the Shay, and other results go their way.

Neil Aspin’s side extended their winning run to four matches as they won 4-2 at Kendal on Saturday to take another step towards a second successive automatic promotion.

And with Worksop losing 1-0 at home to Colwyn Bay, the Shaymen need just nine more points to secure the Premier Division title.

Should Buxton lose to North Ferriby United in midweek and Worksop slip up against FC United next weekend, the title will be Town’s

“In January people started to say we were going to do this and we were going to do that,” said Aspin.

“But every time you step on the pitch you are looking to get a result and if you don’t get one the doubt creeps in and you can be under pressure.

“I have told the players to get the points as early as they can and they are doing that at the moment.

“But we have to keep going.”

The Shaymen twice took the lead in Cumbria, though Danny Lowe in the first half and Jamie Vardy early in the second.

But on each occasion they were pegged back and in the end a late double from Jamie Vardy, to complete a second hat-trick in five days, saw them home.

“We started not too badly in the first 10 minutes but then we were poor and we were fortunate to be 1-0 up really,” said Aspin.

“Kendal had a couple of really good chances and it was no surprise when they equalised.

“Four or five mistakes led to their goal and we hadn’t been playing well.

“I knew I had to change a couple of things at half time playing down the slope against a side that doesn’t sit back and give you space to exploit.

“Kendal were always in the game and a lot of decisions went against us.

“I thought there was a handball in the lead up to their goal and you do start to wonder whether it is going to be your day.

“But we responded straight away to get the third.”

Vardy was switched to a more central role at half time and the move certainly paid dividends as he became the first player since Geoff Horsfield in 1997 to score three goals in successive league games.

Horsfield’s hat-tricks came against Yeovil and Telford in games either side of an FA Cup tie against Droylsden in which he also scored.

“Although I normally play him on the left, I felt that with his pace, the slope and the space Jamie Vardy would get in behind all the time,” said Aspin.

“I just wanted players to keep it simple, have the minimum number of touches and put the ball behind Kendal’s defensive line.

“Sometimes you have to play the surface and when they did what we wanted we were effective.

“If a team is willing to push out, he will get in.

“There are not many players who get back to back hat tricks so it is a real achievement.

Town’s players warmed up in T-shirts bearing the legend “Trevor Rest in Peace”, there was a minute’s silence and the Halifax squad wore black armbands in honour of Aspin’s assistant who passed away last Wednesday.

And Aspin admitted he was glad to have got the game at the end of a difficult week out of the way

“It is good to get out of the system.

“The best tribute to Trevor is that he has a team that never gives up, like himself.

“It is a team that tries to play in the right way, we are honest in the way we compete for things and that is a fitting testament to him.

They have a lot of fight and a good character, just like Trevor.”