Irrespective of Braintree’s failure to beat Barnet in the Skrill Premier’s late kick-off on Easter Monday which secured FC Halifax Town’s play-off place, barring a mathematical miracle on the final day of the season this coming Saturday, Neil Aspin was left “disappointed” after his side’s ten game unbeaten run came to an end at Southport.
Lee Gregory notched his 29th league goal of a memorable campaign as early as the fifth minute at Haig Avenue but two second half strikes in the space of ten minutes turned the game on its head and ensured the Sandgrounders’ survival in the division, and initially left the Shaymen sweating on their top-five spot.
Speaking to Shaymen Player after the 2-1 defeat, Aspin revealed:
“I am disappointed; regardless about how important the game was, I still wanted to keep the run going. We were on a fantastic run and I wanted it to go on for as long as possible.
“That is disappointing, that it has come to an end. It would have been marvellous to have secured our place in the play-offs straight after the game but I don’t have any complaints in terms of the result.
“Instead of moaning about how we played, I thought Southport played well, they put us under pressure, they had more tempo to their game, more energy and they created more chances. From that perspective I can’t really stand here and say that we were unfortunate.
“It was a fantastic winning goal, which you’re not going to hit every day. Overall, over the 90 minutes, it wasn’t a good enough performance to secure the point that we needed.
“In the first half we didn’t pass the ball at all; we kept giving it away. If we wanted to relieve pressure, we couldn’t do it as every time we got it we gave it back to Southport and that increased the pressure on us.
“In the run that we have had I can’t remember our goal coming under as much pressure as it has done at times today. It’s not how we’ve been over the last month and a bit but from playing on Saturday and playing today you would have to say we looked, energy-wise, a good yard slower than we have been. We looked very tired today.
“It was a great time to score but we did not kick on. We didn’t play better because of it and we just didn’t play well at all today. It was just a disappointing performance.”
Matt Glennon was inspired form to keep Southport and, in particular, livewire Osayamen Osawe, at bay, until the home side’s pressure proved dividends with twenty minutes remaining – on what proved to be Southport’s day in the Merseyside sunshine.
Aspin, however, is hopeful of more FC Halifax Town “days” as the end of season play-offs loom. He said:
“Several players played well for Southport. I’ve seen them on a few occasions this season and they have been inconsistent but they have won a lot of games at home where they have done well against teams.
“There are no easy games in this league. When you win games and people get carried away, you think that you will just roll teams over. I keep saying that every point is hard to get in this league and today was a hard fought game.
“But weren’t good enough today and that’s the top and bottom of it. We know that on our day, though, we can be good enough.”
Let’s hope there are still three more good days for Aspin’s men in Town’s extended season.
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