Neil Aspin hailed his players as the Shaymen joyously jumped into the play-off places after securing only their third away league win of the season at Welling United.
The excellent 1-0 victory, secured by Lee Gregory’s cool 50th minute penalty, came on the back of the thrashing of relegated Hyde at Ewen’s Fields last weekend leaving Aspin to describe these rare victories as “special”. He beamed to Shaymen Player in South-East London:
“Any results we have got away from home have been special because there haven’t been many and everyone knows that our away form hasn’t been good enough this season.
“But if there ever was a time to put together a few away results then it would be certainly now.
“I gave a lot of respect to Welling because they have had some good results and, for a part-time team like ourselves, they have done really well this season.
“We knew that it would be a tough game; it is coming to the time of season where the pitches are lively, the sun is in people’s eyes and it made for tricky conditions. It wasn’t a classic in terms of football play but certainly the lads have battled and it is a great result for us.
“I think we were fortunate to get away with the chance in the first minute; I think that would have, obviously, changed the game if they had scored. Once that happened I did think, “Maybe it is going to be our day,” and as the half gradually wore on we got better and we went close on a couple of occasions.
“With the spirit and the atmosphere in the dressing room at half time we felt that we could win the game. It was tough but we would have liked to have seen that second goal which would have made it a lot easier to watch from the sideline but we will take any win that we can get.”
Gregory’s spot-kick came after he was hauled down by last-man Blaine Hudson, leaving referee Dean Treleaven little option but to dismiss the United defender. Aspin, after seeing similar decisions go against Town throughout this campaign, retained his viewpoint that the award of the penalty should be sufficient. He acknowledged:
“I don’t like to see players getting sent off when it’s a penalty. I would have hated it in my day and I’d probably have been off a lot of times!
“It has happened to us and it did make a difference today. He is a good player the lad who got sent off; he is having a good season so it was a blow for them.
“But to be fair to them, they pushed on and they gambled. They’ve got a bit of pace upfront and it is always a danger when the score is 1-0. You’re never comfortable but we did enough to win and we should have killed it off.”
After hitting their best form – with three wins on the spin – of an unforgettable first season back in the Conference Premier, Aspin’s men sit proudly in the last play-off spot and, with games still to come against six of the current top eight sides, will have a huge say in the climax to the season. But will the Shaymen still be in the promotion-mix come the end of April? Can everyone associated with FC Halifax Town dare to dream? Aspin answered:
“Life is about dreaming. We all like to dream. We all have dreams but unfortunately when you’ve been in football as long as I have you also have a big dose of realism as well.
“But I didn’t expect, at this stage, to be in fifth spot. I think I said after we beat Aldershot at home that it was probably the best that we could ever get in terms of being a part-time team and the facilities that we have. Now after 37 games, I certainly didn’t expect to be in fifth spot.
“It is credit to the players because they have done a fantastic job for me this year and they deserve to get credit.”
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