FC Halifax Town: We couldn’t have done any more, says Aspin

Actions from Halifax Town v Kidderminster Harriers, at The Shay
Actions from Halifax Town v Kidderminster Harriers, at The Shay

Neil Aspin felt his FC Halifax Town players couldn’t have done any more to win after they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom-club Kidderminster at The Shay.

Town conceded first for the ninth time this season from Garjit Sigh’s header but to take a point through the outstanding CJ Hamilton.

Aspin said: “I thought overall we had the better chances and I thought the second-half performance was very good, probably the best we’ve played this season.

“It was a good response from the players because I felt that for 20 minutes we hadn’t started and were very poor. We deserved to be behind.

“Second-half the players had a point to prove and yet again we’ve had to come from behind, but credit to them, they stuck at it and I couldn’t fault their second-half efforts, I thought everybody put in a shift and they did everything they could to win the game.”

But the Town boss is at a loss to explain why his side are slow starters in games.

“If I could put my finger on it, then I would’ve done and we’d be starting a lot better,” he said.

“You can say the say the same things but at the end of the day it’s up to the players.

“I put my faith in them and expect them to do a job and we’ve had players who’ve not played as well as they can, that’s obvious.

“Again today, we didn’t start well. That first goal is important - if we were winning the game and they had to come out to us, because of the pace we have now we could get in behind a lot easier.

“It’s very frustrating but I have to take heart from the second-half and I also take heart from some of the young players we’ve got playing, some of them performed very well.”

Matt Glennon was handed the captain’s armband in place of Hamza Bencherif, who was substituted at half-time after a disappointing first-half.

Aspin admits Bencherif hasn’t lived up to expectations so far.

“I expected him to do better, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“He hasn’t performed to the level he can do. He’s somebody I put my faith in and at the moment he’s not done the job I wanted.

“He played 46 games last year for Lincoln and is obviously experienced, he’s played in the Football League.

“But it doesn’t matter what level you’ve played, if you’re not playing particularly well then you suffer from lack of confidence and I think that’s evident at the moment.

“The only way you get your confidence is you’ve got to keep working hard, you’ve got to play and work at your game.

“At the moment he’s struggling and I felt I’d take the captaincy off him, which would give him less responsibility and allow him to concentrate on his own game.”

Aspin was delighted with the impact of Sheffield United loanees Hamilton and David Brooks, as well as Town’s other young players.

“As a manager you want to see players you enjoy watching and especially when they’re young lads and they’re fresh,” he said.

“The more experienced players should be doing more to help the younger players and if we got that we’d have a much better balance.

“But at the moment we’re relying on a lot of young lads to do men’s jobs.

“I do keep in contact with Sheffield United about their progress and I feel we’ve got a good relationship with them and it’s working both ways.

“The last thing they want is players at our club who are not playing games because the whole point is that it’s helping us and helping their development.

“They’re certainly contributing and we’ve got another lad now, Julian (Banton), but I felt it was a bit unfair to throw him in after one training session on Thursday, especially into a back four which hasn’t kept a clean sheet.

“But he will feature while he’s here and let’s hope he can have the same contribution as the other two.”

Aspin said Hamilton could have added to his goal, but was impressed by his overall display.

“He can play and he can play up the middle,” he added.

“That pace is a great asset and sometimes when you’re up the middle you do see more of the ball and he was a constant threat.

“It was unfortunate he didn’t get more than one goal but it was lovely to see him score, he showed a lot of composure and he’s doing a good job for us.”