Chief raps out play-off warning

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Town, potential challengers to leaders Hyde FC less than a month ago, will have to improve if they are to make the Blue Square Bet North play offs.

That was the stark message from manager Neil Aspin after watching his side go down 1-0 to Bishop’s Stortford at the Shay last night - their fifth home defeat of the season.

Town should have been buoyant after their battling point at Hyde on Saturday but it was another frustratingly flat performance on home soil.

“If we play like we did at Hyde we are good enough to be in the play offs,” said Aspin.

“When we play like we did last night we are not good enough to be in them.

“The players have not done enough. They have not performed and I am not happy with what I have seen.

“If we’d have played like we did last night on Saturday we wouldn’t have got anything at all.

“The difference in performance is hardly believable but it has happened too many times this season.

“If our home form had been half decent we would have been challenging Hyde because away from home we have done really well.”

The Shay defeat saw Town slip a further place down the table to fourth, with Guiseley overtaking them after a 3-1 win over Solihull Moors.

“You can’t expect to lose that many games at home and be challenging,” said Aspin.

“I am very disappointed with a lot of things and feel really flat.”

Asked if he could put his finger on the difference between Town at home and Town on the road, he added: “If I knew that I would have rectified it early in the season and we would have been playing a lot better.

“If you’d played Saturday and had injuries and had been forced to change the side you might be able to understand it.

“But you are putting out the same team as Saturday and the difference in level of performance is massive.

“It is so frustrating.”

Bishop’s Stortford made it difficult for Town to create scoring opportunities by defending deep.

But Aspin said that just meant the onus had been on his his team to break them down.

“I have no problem with a team sitting back and defending,” he said. “That is up to them.

“We have to be better in breaking them down. We have to put them under more pressure and we just haven’t done that.”

Liam Hogan picked up an Achilles injury and Scott McManus suffered a recurrence of a groin problem he has been battling.

Report and pictures - pages 34-35