Town can reach play-offs with draw against Guiseley

Neil Aspin
Neil Aspin

FC Halifax Town will book their place in the play-offs if they avoid defeat against West Yorkshire rivals Guiseley at the Shay on Saturday (April 20, 3pm kick-off).

Guiseley are already guaranteed to finish second in the table, but Town can secure their spot in the top-five with a point.

Manager Neil Aspin admitted he may be forced into making changes for the game after Town’s tiring schedule of late.

He said: “You want to try and get the point as quickly as possible, but I have to look at who’s got fresh legs, can I make a few changes but still try and get the point?

“But there’s no way we can keep playing the same. You have Jon Worthington tonight who felt his thigh and came off, I was undecided whether to play Sean Williams because he’s played virtually every game lately so he was a little bit leggy.

“You’ve then got Lee Gregory up front who’s shown desire wanting to play, but again he’s had a run of games, then you’ve got a couple of lads who’ve been injured who we’re hoping if we can get them back involved will give us a bit of fresh impetus.

“So you’re not wanting to make too many changes but there are players who could do with a rest and you’ve got to be mindful of that going into each game.”

Aspin is also well aware of the strength in depth of his opponents, who are the third-highest scorers on the road in the division.

He said: “There’s no way Guiseley want to lose against us. They can change six or seven players and still have a strong team, there’s no doubt about that.

“They’ve got a big squad and some good players so if you leave, say, Mark Bower out like last week, you bring in a centre-half who’s a good player at this level. Then you bring somebody else in if you leave a forward out, you bring Walshaw in, so they’ve got a lot of personnel they can change and they can still have a strong team.

“I can’t really look at the team they’re putting out, I have to look at what’s going to give us the best chance of winning.”

The Town chief said he is happy to be on the verge of a top-five finish, and is hoping for some good fortune in the play-offs.

He added: “Anything can happen, but as long as you get in the play-offs, it’s then a case of which team can get a little bit of luck and show the form to get through.

“There’s still a lot to play for so although it is mentally tiring for the players, we’re delighted to be in there and now we’re getting close to securing that spot.”

Current Blue Square North top seven:

1. Chester Pl 39 Po 103

2. Guiseley Pl 39 Po 87

3. Brackley Pl 40 Po 79

4. FC Halifax Pl 38 Po 73

5. Altrincham Pl 39 Po 71

6. Bradford PA Pl 39 Po 65

7. Harrogate Pl 39 Po 65

Follow Halifax Town reporter Tom Scargill on Twitter for live updates throughout every Shaymen match - and check for reports after the game.