Boss backs tom to play

BOSS Neil Aspin expects Tom Baker to be in the starting line up when table topping Town take on Kendal at the Shay tonight.

Baker suffered a dead leg early in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Worksop but stayed on and scored from the spot to earn the Shaymen a deserved share of the spoils.

Aspin will check on the influential midfielder, but it would be more of a surprise if he was missing from the line up to face the Cumbrians.

“It was touch and go at one point whether I brought Tom off,” said Aspin. “In the back of my mind I was thinking about what would happen if we got a penalty.

“Being like he is, Tom wanted to stay on and he will want to play tonight.

“We certainly need him out there with Scott Phelan still suspended.”

Aspin reported no other injury worries ahead of Town’s second game in four days.

Saturday’s clash with Worksop was played on the heaviest pitch they had seen so far this season.

But the manager is not concerned by what effect the 90 minute slog through the mud will have had on his players.

“I am not worried about that,” he said. “The players are fit enough.

“They showed that by pushing for the full 90 minutes on Saturday.

“The bigger concern is that heavy pitches make it difficult to pass the ball.

“Hopefully we are not going to get too many more like Saturday’s, but this is non league football and that’s what you have to expect.

“We want to pass the ball and play in the right manner and we have a better chance on a good surface at home.”

Kendal are seventh in the table, 18 points behind the Shaymen but, more importantly, only three point outside the play-off places.

And Aspin is expecting them to provide his side with a stiff test.

“Any team that can go to Northwich and score six goals like they did earlier in the season are dangerous opponents,” said Aspin.

“We are at home and, as ever, the onus is on us to win the game.

“But people should not turn up expecting us to win easily - that will not happen.

“Kendal are pushing for a place in the play-offs and all games are vital for them.”

With neither Colwyn Bay nor Matlock Town in league action tonight, Town will be 13 points clear at the top if they win.

FC Halifax Town (probable): Hedge, Hardy, Lowe, L Hogan, Bower, Baker, Garner, Marshall, Dean, Gregory, Vardy. Subs (from): Senior. Milne, Riley, Holland, S Hogan, Metcalfe.

l The bucket collection at this evening’s game will be in aid of Age Concern.