Aspin delighted with Town’s first-half showing in Dover win

FC Halifax Town v Dover.
FC Halifax Town v Dover.

Neil Aspin said his FC Halifax Town side’s first 35 minutes was as good as they’ve played at home this season as they beat Dover 3-2 at the Shay.

Town raced into a 2-0 lead through Lois Maynard and Richard Peniket before Tom Murphy got a goal back before the break.

Jamie Jackson restored Town’s two-goal lead before Dan Holman’s goal made for a nervy finish.

Aspin said: “For 35 minutes I thought we played really well. We made lots of chances.

He said: “Any three points you are always glad to get. It was always going to be a difficult game.

“For 35 minutes I thought we played really well. We made lots of chances, I thought we switched the play well.

“We passed the ball short, we passed the ball long when it was on.

“We had a really good tempo to the game and I thought we deserved to be more than two goals in front.

“I thought it was an excellent start to the game and probably for 35 minutes as good as we’ve played at home.”

The Town boss was happy with Maynard’s contribution in what was the midfielder’s first start since he was sent-off at Dartford just over a month ago.

Aspin said: “Lois has chipped in with a lot of goals this season and that was a great finish, good move, and it got us on the way.

“Very pleased with his performance. He obviously had a suspension and we’ve eased him back and he came back today and did really well.”

Aspin also praised Peniket’s performance and was pleased with his partnerhsip with Danny Hattersley in attack.

“It was great that Richard got a goal, playing up front as a striker,” Aspin said.

“I don’t know how many he’s scored this season but I think from his starts, and especially how many games he’s played up front, I think he’s got a good goal return.

“I thought he was a threat all game. Him and Danny worked well in the first-half and put them under some pressure.”

However, the Shay boss also rated Dover’s first goal highly and was impressed by its scorer, Tom Murphy.

“Some goals you give away and you’re disappointed about but it was a great finish that first goal by them,” said Aspin.

“The lad looked a good player and he took the goal well, good shot. You’re frustrated about conceding but sometimes you have to say it was a really good finish.”

Jackson’s goal proved the winner, with Aspin preferring to see it as a superb chip over the keeper than a miscued cross.

“We’ll call it a wonder goal for him, but it was lovely to see it go in,” said the Halifax manager.

“People don’t realise he’s been around for a long time. He’s had a lot of lower league football and I think he’s done really well since he’s been here.

“He’s the type of lad that you know if you put him on he’s going to create something and he’s been a really valuable member of the squad this season.

“He’s a likeable character, comes in with a smile on his face and that’s what you want, especially when you need a lift and he normally comes on and gives things a lift.”

Aspin was frustrated at Town’s defending late on when they came under pressure from the visitors, a finale to the game he found stressful.

“Not great for my heart-rate, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I thought we defended poorly,” said Aspin.

“We gave them opportunities and once it’s back to 3-2 you know it’s going to be difficult.

“They’re difficult to handle off set-pieces and we gave away a lot of free-kicks. As we get more anxious we tend to drop deeper and we tend to give away more free-kicks, which invites pressure.

“We could have sealed it at 4-2 but we haven’t and were relying on the linesman’s flag but it was the right decision.”

Aspin admitted it would have left a sour taste in the mouth had Dover’s late effort not been ruled out.

He added: “It would have left everybody deflated if we hadn’t got the result. But we deserved to win the game overall.

“I expected a tough game. I thought there might not be many goals, I thought it would be a lot tighter than it was, there were a lot of chances, it was end-to-end and it was probably more open than I expected.”