Town boss impressed by new faces in Harrogate defeat

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

Neil Aspin said the West Riding County Cup game at Harrogate Town served its purpose despite FC Halifax Town losing 2-1.

The Town boss used the game to hand first appearances to loanees Reece Gray and Tom Anderson, both of whom caught the eye as the Shaymen’s defence of the cup was brought to an end.

Aspin admitted the defeat wasn’t one he would lose much sleep over and that the chance to blood some new faces was the priority.

He said: “The main thing for me is that we had a couple of players we wanted to have a look at, which is important and we got through the game without further injuries.

“You can’t belittle any competition because it would be wrong to say that you set out to try and lose games but certainly the County Cup isn’t a priority.

“Although we won it last year we used games to give people 90 minutes.

“The main thing was I’ve been able to use it to look at a couple of players and the bigger picture is the league and we now know exactly what fixtures we’ve got.”

Aspin said he was particularly impressed with Gray’s contribution, as well as youth team player Jack Bradley, who partnered Anderson at centre-back in a youthful back-four.

Aspin said: “We had to get Reece Gray involved because he’s just come to the club and he showed some lovely touches in the first-half.

“He’s somebody who can add to the team. I didn’t want to play him 90 minutes because he’s played a lot of football anyway this season with Hyde.

“It was important Dan Gardner got a full 90 minutes and important I could push Archie (Love) to left-back because we’ve not got a lot of cover for Danny Lowe who now needs an operation.

“It was also good to give Tom (Anderson) a run at centre-back but probably the most pleasing aspect was for a young lad (Jack Bradley) to play centre-half who’s only 16 who’s only been playing with the junior team.

“For him to play was a plus because I thought he was excellent and is somebody that now needs to train with the first-team and we can have a look at him for the future.”