Boston clash is must win - boss

Town have to treat this afternoon’s Shay clash with Boston United as if it was their last game of the season.

That was the message from manager Neil Aspin, whose side have slipped out of the Blue Square Bet North top five for the first time since late December.

The Shaymen’s 2-1 defeat at Stalybridge on Friday, coupled with Gainsborough’s win at Blyth 24 hours later, leaves Town sixth in the table with four games remaining.

And Aspin knows his side simply have to get three points today - and hope other results go their way - as they look to force their way back into the play off places.

“We have to expect that the teams around us will win,” said the Town boss.

“We have to win today and we will have a look at the league table after that.

“We have to play as if it is the last game of the season and we have to win it.

“The margin for error is getting less as games run out.”

There was little margin for error at Bower Fold on Friday as a late strike, with the help of a bobble, sent Town crashing to a 2-1 defeat.

“I don’t think it was a bad performance at Stalybridge, but it wasn’t a good one,” said Aspin.

“The quality has to be better today.”

Jamie Rainford returned to the fold at Stalybridge, replacing Lee Gregory in the second half.

And Aspin is pleased to have the former Chester frontman available again after their brief falling out.

“You want all your players to pick from and it is unfortunate for the ones who are not starting,” said Aspin.

“It is difficult sometimes when you come on as a sub but to have him available is good.

“He proved he wanted to play and it might be that he gets his goals at a time when we need them.”

Boston went down 2-0 at home to Harrogate Town on Saturday but Aspin is expecting a tough game from the Lincolnshire side.

“I think Boston have had better results away from home, a bit like us,” he said.

“It should be a decent crowd - the support we had at Stalybridge was really good and it was disappointing we could not get them the result.

“We have to rectify that today.”

Aspin will be checking on the fitness of Liam Needham after he limped from the field with an ankle problem at Stalybridge.

The manager also reported that a couple of other players had picked up knocks with Danny Lowe suffering a calf strain.

But the manager had Luke Ashworth, Danny Holland and Tom Baker in the stand and did not use sub Aaron Hardy.

“If a player is injured, it gives someone else a chance,” he said.

Ross Hannah was also taken off in the second half on Friday but that was entirely down to the way the game was going.

“I just felt it wasn’t his type of game,” said Aspin. “We didn’t really make any chances for him.

“A lot of the time we were crossing the ball into the box and it was more of a James Dean game.

“I thought that, with him having had a hamstring problem the week before, it was good to take him off and he will be fresh for today.”

HALIFAX Town are organising a legends match at the Shay to help raise funds for former keeper Lee Butler’s daughter Gracie, who is undergoing cancer treatment.

The match, on a date to be confirmed, is between ex-Shaymen and Doncaster Rovers with the likes of Geoff Horsfield, Kieran O’Regan, Brian Kilcline, Wayne Allison and Lee Richardson expected to be back in Town shirts.

Former Shay boss Chris Wilder and current Doncaster chief Dean Saunders are expected to turn out for Rovers.