It’s just too close to call - Aspin

Share this article

Boss Neil Aspin believes there is nothing to choose between his Town side and tonight’s play off opponents Gainsborough.

The teams meet in the first leg of the semi-final at Northolme having only been split by goal difference in the final league standings.

“There are no favourites in this tie,” he said. “In the first league game at Gainsborough our keeper played exceptionally well before we got a late winner.

“In the game at the Shay, which we drew 2-2, I thought we were excellent for the first 25 minutes but they came back into it.

“We are two evenly matched teams and you just hope that over the course of the tie you get a bit of luck, the run of the ball.”

Aspin will be hoping for a change of play off luck for himself as he takes Town to Lincolnshire having endured heartache with his previous clubs.

“Unfortunately I have lost at every level in the play offs during my professional career,” he said.

“I lost in the final with Leeds, lost in the final with Port Vale and lost in the final with Darlington.

“I also lost in the play offs with Harrogate, but you tend to think that eventually it will happen and it would be a great time for that this year.”

He was also quick to point out that play off success would be more important to the club as a whole than him on a personal level.

“It is not about me,” he said. “I enjoy being manager at Halifax and want to do well for the club.

“It is not about furthering my career - I am here to do a job for Halifax.

“We have made progress and as long as the club is moving in the right direction, that’s what it is about.

“I believe the foundations of the club are getting stronger.

“I know everyone wants to continue to go forward at a rapid pace but there is more to it than that and if we are going to be successful as a club we have to take a bit of time and get the structure right.”

A two legged tie is something of a rarity for the majority of Town’s players.

However, Aspin said the approach to the clash as a whole would be the same as if it was two single ties.

“The approach has to be the same as it has been for the past few games,” he said. “Before the Droylsden game I said if we win the next five games we will get promotion.

“We have to go to Gainsborough tonight looking to win the game. We cannot go there and play for a draw.”

Guiseley travel to Nuneaton in the first leg of the other semi-final this evening having pushed champions Hyde right up to the penultimate game before having to settle for second spot.

“Guiseley have done fantastically well with the number of points they have got,” he said, “Unfortunately it only gets them in the play offs.

“And anything can happen in a play off game. I don’t think there is a favourite, it is about the team that holds their nerve.

“It is also about getting the right decisions and a bit of luck.

“If it is meant to be, then it is going to happen and we have as good a chance as the other three teams.”

Aspin is hoping to be able to name an unchanged squad for tonight’s game but is sweating on the fitness of Ross Hannah.

The striker has been having treatment at his parent club Bradford City after picking up a knock in Saturday’s win at Solihull Moors.

Leading scorer Lee Gregory and loan midfielder Sean Clancy will be looking to score for the third successive games tonight.