Double blow to Aspin’s plans

Boss Neil Aspin is preparing his side for tomorrow’s Blue Square Bet North trip to Corby without both Jamie Rainford and James Walshaw.

The duo have scored 11 goals between them since joining Town in November, helping propel the Shaymen into the play off places.

Rainford returned to his parent club Chester earlier this week and is understood to be the subject of offers of a permanent move from a couple of clubs, including the Shaymen.

Walshaw signed his long term loan agreement with Town on Tuesday and it appeared at that stage he would be with Aspin’s squad through to the end of the campaign.

But it has now emerged that Darlington’s decision to enter administration has scuppered the deal for the time being at least.

“The fact is that when James Walshaw signed his long term agreement with us he needed the signature of the Darlington club secretary,” said Aspin.

“He was no able to do this and it is now down to the administrator to sign him off.

“Walshaw is contracted to them next season and they want him off the books completely and will not let him go out on loan.

“The timing was unfortunate.”

Aspin yesterday all but ruled out the possibility of Rainford playing at Corby, but added that Town were continuing to talk to Darlington’s administrators in a bid to resolve the Walshaw issue.

“We are trying to sort something out,” he said. “But it is completely out of our hands.”

Walshaw switched to Darlington from Guiseley last summer to take up a full time contract and Town are unable to take over his current contract.

The loss of Rainford and Walshaw is likely to mean recalls to the starting line up for Lee Gregory and Danny Holland.

Gregory, the club’s 13-goal leading scorer, last started a match at Workington while Holland has been on the bench for the last five games.

“We have players in forward areas who are more than capable,” Aspin said. “This is their opportunity to step in and do the job.

“Players who have been on the bench feel they should have been playing regardless of who was in front of them.

“The biggest concern would be if we had two defenders going back to their clubs after loans.”

Aspin has not ruled out a late loan signing to bolster the Town ranks.

“We are a little bit down on numbers and I would like to bring another player in,” he said.

“Every time we line someone up, something seems to happen.”

Aspin will have his fingers crossed that both Tom Baker and Simon Garner have recovered from calf strains that might have kept them out of the New Year’s Day game with Gainsborough had it gone ahead.

“Both would have been struggling for the game on New Year’s Day and neither trained on Tuesday,” he said, adding that both would be given as long as they needed to prove their fitness.

Town will travel to Corby seeking revenge for the Northamptonshire side’s 3-1 win at the Shay on the opening day of the campaign.

“It is never nice when you lose at home,” said Aspin. “But if we’d have taken our chances in the first half we would have been ahead.

“They took their chances in the second half and looked a strong side.

“It would be nice to put the record straight tomorrow.”