Defending just not up to scratch

Town’s worst defensive display of the season cost them any chance of beating Altrincham at the Shay on Saturday.

That was the view of boss Neil Aspin who cut a frustrated figure as he watched his side slip to their third home league defeat of the season.

“You can cope with having one of your back four struggling but when it is maybe three out of four you are going to concede goals,” he said.

“Every time they attacked they looked like scoring, every time we attacked we looked like we could score.

“But the defending was just not good enough and it is hard to take.

“In recent weeks we have defended better and you would like to think it is just a blip.

“Whether we defend like that when I feel we have our best defence out, time will tell.

“It is my responsibility and I know we have to be better defensively.

“If we get better defensively, we can score goals and we can do well.

“I am not going to single anyone out, but they know themselves and everyone who watched knows.

“But certain players have probably played the worst game I have seen them play.

“You can bring players in, but they have to be the right ones and until they become available you have to keep perservering.”

It was another disappointing home performance from the Shaymen following on from the goalless draw with Solihull in the league and the FA Trophy defeat to Colwyn Bay.

The fans let their feelings be known at the final whistle and Aspin admitted he understood their frustration.

“If you defend like we have at home this season you can’t expect to win games,” he said.

“The home record has not been good and the players struggle at times because they are under a bit more pressure.

“But I must say that the crowd were good because I had to watch what they had to watch and it was poor at times.

“The key to playing at home is to get the first goal and build on it.”

Town scored two good goals through Jamie Rainford and Simon Garner and had other opportunities.

But Altrincham scored four and had a penalty saved by Simon Eastwood to return across the Pennines with the spoils.

“We missed good chances and again we should have been in front before we went behind,” said Aspin.

“It is the story of the season.

“It is blatantly obvious that with the suspension to Danny Lowe and the injury to Aaron Hardy that we didn’t have enough options defensively.

“The players who play have to be good enough and if they can’t play at this level, they have to go.”

Rainford, on loan from Chester, has extended his stay at the Shay by another month.

And that is a boost for the Shaymen as they prepare for a further four league games in December.

“He has come from a club in the league below us and has stepped up no problem,” he said. “I thought he was excellent on Saturday, especially in the first half. He was the bright spot from the game.”

Liam Needham missed the game after complaining of a tight groin before kick off.