Aspin finds it hard to bear loss

Boss Neil Aspin found it hard to hide his disappointment after watching his Town side’s 10-match unbeaten run come crashing to an end with a 3-0 loss to promotion rivals Nuneaton last night.

The game started badly when the visitors took a fourth minute lead through Gareth Dean, deteriorated further with an injury to Jamie Rainford and a red card for Ryan Toulson and hit rock bottom as further goals from Danny Glover and Andy Brown sealed the home side’s fate.

And to make matters worse, last night’s visitors are now up to second in the Blue Square Bet North with the Shaymen slipping to third.

“The first goal was a bad one to concede,” said Aspin. “A player who is marked should not be getting a goal from a header at a corner.

“It was difficult from then on in.”

Aspin would have been looking forward to getting his players in at the break when, in first half stoppage time, Toulson was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

“I thought the first one was a yellow card,” he said, “The challenge was a little bit reckless and I could understand it.

“The second one; he tried to follow the pass and at the end of the day he is sent off.

“That made it even more difficult.”

Town showed a slight improvement after half time despite being down to 10 men, but not enough to turn things round.

“We had to try to stay in the game as long as possible and we did that to a certain extent,” said Aspin.

“But we didn’t make real chances all night, we never put their goal under pressure or created anything with good football.

“And the second goal killed us.”

That came from the penalty spot when a cross from the right brushed Liam Hogan’s arm and the linesman alerted the referee.

“I though at first he had flagged for offside and suddenly it was a penalty,” said Aspin.

“We seem to get a lot decisions against us at the moment but we just have to roll our sleeves up and go on another unbeaten run.

“It is disappointing that our worst days have been at home.”

Previous home defeats this season have included a 5-1 reverse to Vauxhall Motors and a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Altrincham.

“It is never nice to lose a game and you would rather it be 1-0 than 3-0,” said Aspin.

“But it is still three points and we have a big test on Saturday.”

Report and pictures - pages 36-37

Porto’s forward Hulk has warned Manchester City he is “1,000 per cent” ready for them tonight.

The Brazilian star is expected to lead the Porto attack as they seek to overturn a 2-1 deficit in the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie at the Etihad Stadium.

The highly-rated Hulk, a formidable presence up front or cutting in from either flank, has yet to rediscover his best after recovering from a leg injury but he insists he is in good shape.

The 25-year-old said: “I am 100 per cent. I am sure if I wasn’t the manager would not pick me.

“But tonight I will not be 100 per cent - I will be 1,000 per cent.”