Town boss frustrated at missed chances after Chester defeat

FC Halifax Town v Chester at the Shay. Neil Aspin
FC Halifax Town v Chester at the Shay. Neil Aspin

Town boss Neil Aspin was left to rue missed chances after his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Chester on Tuesday.

An absorbing contest saw both teams squander numerous opportunities meaning Jordan Chapell’s first-half goal proved decisive.

Town dominated large parts of the second-half but were unable to find an equaliser.

Aspin was happy with his team’s response after the interval but admits The Shaymen need to start winning soon.

“The second-half was much better,” he said. “We played with a much better tempo.

“We certainly created enough chances to get back in the game and I can’t believe we haven’t scored in that second-half.

“But we need to be scoring the first goal and if we can do that then it opens the game out and gives us more space.

“But when Chester are defending the lead they can get men behind the ball.

“But I’ve no complaints with the second-half. As long as the players give me 100 per cent in terms of effort and commitment then I don’t criticise them and I felt they had a real go in the second-half.

“I thought we started the game quite well but then we allowed Chester to dominate possession and again it’s a goal where we could’ve done better defending against.

“We need to be winning games, it’s another defeat.

“It’s disappointing but as long as the players keep believing in themselves, keep working hard, then it’ll turn.

“But we need a result to give everybody, especially the new players, some confidence.”

Aspin said his side should have scored first through a good early chance for striker Jordan Burrow.

“We had a great chance early on, a header which could’ve put us in front,” he said.

“But we didn’t take it.

“The start to the game was good but we didn’t maintain it.

“I felt they started to dominate, get a grip of the midfield. They kept the ball better than we did for a spell.

“But the second-half was a lot better.”

The Town boss was unhappy with some of the decisions from referee Wayne Barratt, who disallowed a Danny Hattersley goal and waved away two penalty appeals from the home side.

“I have to watch what I say but it must be a coincidence that every time we have certain officials we always have controversy after the games,” said Aspin.

“I felt we should have had a penalty.

“It took a long time to disallow our goal. But I’d need to see that again.

“I felt there were a couple of handballs as well - I don’t think we had the majority of the decisions but we said that a lot last season in the home games.

“I don’t think we get the fair share of decisions but at the end of the day, we can take all them out of the equation - we still had enough chances where we have to blame ourselves that we didn’t score.”

But Aspin was impressed by the visitors’ display, although he stressed the importance of hard work in search of the club’s first points of the season.

“I’m disappointed when I lose a game but you always have to give credit to the opposition as well.

“I felt they worked exceptionally hard and in the first-half they played some good football, they kept the ball well.

“It was a good test for us but I would’ve expected with the balls we put in the box - Sean Tuton put some fantastic crosses in from the right - we need to be converting them.

“We’ve got to keep trying, got to keep working hard.

“The players did train on Monday, we managed to get most of the players in, and we’ll train again on Thursday and prepare for Saturday.

“But nobody’s going to give us any points - we’ve got to keep working hard.”

Aspin confirmed the decision to play Graham Hutchison instead of Matty Brown was tactical and insisted no-one’s place is assured in the side.

“I just felt Matty obviously didn’t have his best game on Saturday and it’s always hard for a manager to make those decisions but Hutch, after watching on Saturday, probably felt he deserved a game.

“I’ve brought him in tonight and given him his chance.

“We do have competition for places but at the moment there are places up for grabs.

“Until we can get a winning team and consistent performances then everybody’s fighting for a shirt,” he said.

Aspin also confirmed the half-time switch of Hattersley in place of Josh Macdonald was also tactical, and that the right combination of players and system is far from set in stone.

He added: “You play with one up-front because you want to try and match teams in midfield, try and make sure you’re not out-gunned in midfield.

“But sometimes it’s hard to get the striker into the game when he’s surrounded by bodies - it is a hard position to play up-front on your own.

“I felt we needed some support and that’s what we did at half-time.

“We’ve got to keep looking to find what’s the best formation that’s going to get us some points.”