It wasn’t pretty but that didn’t matter. FC Halifax Town edged closer to the play-offs as they produced a battling performance to hold off what would have been Macclesfield Town’s second comeback against the Shaymen this season.
Goals from centre-back pairing Marc Roberts and Chris Smith had seemingly given Town an unassailable lead but Scott Boden’s strike on the stroke of half-time set up a anxious second period, but manager Neil Aspin was just relieved that his side held on for three more valuable points. He revealed to Shaymen Player after the 2-1 win:
“It was a nervy and tense game and it wasn’t enjoyable to watch, but that is what trying to get into the play-offs is all about. The result at this stage of the season is more important than the performance.
“It was a very difficult game for us. I didn’t look at Macclesfield’s position and think that it was going to be any different to the games we have had in this run because they have got some good footballers, they are good in possession, they adapted to the pitch and they were better than us at times.
“We had to battle because when you concede a goal just before half-time – and I must say that heir goal was coming as they had missed some good chances – then we had to roll our sleeves up in the second half.
“But it is all about getting the result and now we move onto the next game. The team did not play well but if we deliver the ball into the right areas from set-pieces then I always fancy us to score.
“As I say, we might not have been at our best but we got the result. It is no good playing sparkling football and not getting the result. I’d have taken 2-1 before the game.”
The centre-back duo’s goals came in a four-minute first half spell in which the visitors failed to deal with Town’s unique strength from set-pieces. Roberts guided in a neat side-footer for his fifth of the season before Smith netted his second winner in four games to leave Aspin impressed. He said:
“They were both really good finishes from defenders. And we have needed those because we weren’t creating many chances from open play.
“I’m not bothered if we have to rely on set-pieces; it’s part of the game and we’re very effective.
“It was a good finish by Marc. I felt their lad coped with him quite well in the air and he didn’t get as much joy but certainly the finish with his feet was excellent.
“The second finish was an excellent finish too; it was a forward’s finish. We’ve needed it to get us the points today.
“I did say when Chris came that he was capable of scoring the odd goal because I have seen him score. Certainly the one at Nuneaton was vital and today proved to be the winning goal. You can’t put a value on those two winners.”
Roberts and Smith have been part of a defensive unit which was 45 minutes away from entering the Football Conference history books with what would have been a joint-record breaking eighth consecutive league clean sheets – Boden’s effort denied the Shaymen that honour. However, Aspin, unsurprisingly, was still complimentary about all rocks at the back. He said:
“The defence have done fantastically well. The only reason we are on this run is because we haven’t conceded many goals.
“But we need to focus on Monday and try to get a clean sheet in that game.”
For the full, comprehensive interview with Neil Aspin, log onto Shaymen Player now.
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