2011/12 season review

The Shaymen entered the then Conference North now National League North in high spirits looking for a third consecutive promotion. Last season’s top scorer and future England international Jamie Vardy was sold to then Conference Premier side Fleetwood Town, for a reported £153,000.

Town struggled to get a grasp of their new division. The tradition of winning the first game was lost as The Shaymen lost away to Corby Town. The Shaymen struggled on, but only picking up two wins out of nine Aspins’ side were languishing in 16th heading into the back end of October.

The Shaymen were able to turn this around. Reliving some of the form that got them promoted twice on the bounce Town won four out of their next six games, including a great 3-2 victory over eventual league winners Hyde.

Town finally got on a bit of a FA Cup run on, getting to the first-round proper for the first time since the reformation. Their journey began in a 2-1 Yorkshire derby win at The Shay against Tadcaster Albion. Next was a trip over the Pennines to old rivals Lancaster City, The Shaymen once again put them a side in a 3-0 win. Then in the final qualifying round Town got past Solihull Moors in a 1-0 away win to give the new FC Halifax Town their best performance in the FA Cup.
The reward for The Shaymen was to welcome League One side Charlton to The Shay in front of a then record 4,601 fans. Charlton would run out 4-0 winners but the game would be a lot closer than the score line suggested. With 10 minutes to go it was still only 1-0 to the side from London. Aspin made the move to try and get the score level but, Charlton showed their professional class scoring three goals in the remaining ten minutes.

Back to the league. The Shaymen got back to it after the highs of the FA Cup run. Town went unbeaten for 10 games, which saw them go from 13th up to third in early January.

The Shaymen finished third in the league qualifying for the play-offs and the chance of promotion at the first time of asking in the division. The Shayman would be up against Gainsborough Trinity a side that Town hadn’t lost against when they met earlier in the season. Trinity looked to upset that stat as they were two goals up in the opening 12 minutes. Shaymen striker Lee Gregory pulled one back just before half-time and six minutes from full, to finish the first leg 2-2. Heading back to The Shay on level terms it was a winner takes all fixture.
Town were unable to make the most of the home field advantage. Trinity took a 1-0 lead just over an hour into the game and The Shaymen were unable to turn the tide. Gainsborough Trinity went through to the play-off final with a 3-2 aggregate win.

Lee Gregory would finish top scorer for The Shaymen with 18 goals in the league.

Players: Simon Eastwood, Phil Senior, David Haggerty, Gregg Anderson, Liam Hogan, Scott McManus, Danny Lowe, Aaron Hardy, Ryan Toulson, Anton Foster, Danny Holland, Harry Winter, Jason Jerrett, Tom Baker, Jason Jarrett, Tom Baker, Jason St. Juste, Liam Needham, Simon Garner, Jamie Rainford Scott Hogan, Lee Gregory

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