Aspin left bemused by Roberts red-card in Wrexham draw

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin described the decision to send-off his captain Marc Roberts as “absolutely unbelievable” after FC Halifax Town’s 2-2 draw with Wrexham at the Shay.

Roberts saw red after referee Simon Bennett deemed him to be the last man and to have pulled back Wrexham’s Louis Moult on the edge of the Town box.

But Aspin, who was left fuming at the decision and was sent to the stands by the official, said the sending-off was mystifying.

He said: “It was always going to be a difficult game for us against a good team.

“You need to keep 11 men on the pitch if you’re going to win a game like this and we should have.

“It’s an absolutely unbelievable decision. He hasn’t made a lot of contact to start with and Scott McManus was covering round so he wasn’t even last man.

“So I can’t understand why he’s sent him off.

“This season we’ve had a whole host of decisions go against us and that just tops it off.”

Aspin also said his own dismissal may have been for bad language, another decision which he was unhappy with.

“It will probably be for swearing but I didn’t swear at the ref,” he said.

“I did swear but I think everybody swears in the technical area.

“But I’m more concerned about my player being sent-off and the fact that he’s now going to miss games and he’s obviously very important to us.”

The Town boss said the red card was the turning point in the match but was happy with the way his side reacted to their surprise defeat to Altrincham on Saturday.

He said: “Wrexham started better but the goal settled us down, especially after Saturday’s game.

“You’re not going to dominate against Wrexham, they’ve got a lot of quality.

“But we were playing well and I was happy with the way the game was going.

“We had them in a good position in the fact that they were going to have to come onto us which would leave a little bit of space in-behind.

“But that all changed with the sending-off and we were on the back-foot.

“They used the extra man, managed to spread the play and they got round the back a few times.

“I’m disappointed but it’s not the feeling I had on Saturday.

“Over the time I’ve been manager there’s not many games where I feel the players have let the supporters down.

“I think Saturday was one of those occasions, but I feel they’ve put that right tonight.”

Danny Schofield and Simon Ainge were both handed starts in place of Matt Pearson and Lois Maynard, and Aspin was pleased with the impact of the two changes.

He said: “I’ve always wanted my team to be competitive but we have to mix it up and pass the ball better than we have over the last few games.

“On Saturday we didn’t pass the ball at all and at Braintree we gave the ball away too easily.

“You want to have the strength and the aggression but you need to have people who can put their foot on the ball and pass it.

“Danny does that and I felt I needed to make a change.

“Simon did really well for me in a couple of games. I felt against Altrincham we probably needed a bit more of an attacking line-up.

“But with the quality Wrexham possess I felt it would be better if he came back in.

“I love his attitude and desire and that’s rubbed off on people tonight and I’m very pleased with what he’s done coming back into the team.”

Danny Hattersley scored his third goal in five games for Town, but Aspin isn’t expecting to be able to keep hold of the striker when his one month loan from Southport expires after Halifax’s game with Kidderminster on October 18.

He added: “Danny’s been a plus for us. He worked his socks off, really worked tremendously hard.

“But with Southport having a change of manager it’s very unlikely that they’re going to let him be kept out on loan because the new manager will want to take him back.

“There’s nothing we can do about that but if they’ll let us keep him then we would like to extend that.”