Castle looks for City to fire again

PUBLISHED: 17:11 20 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:05 06 May 2010

Striker Paul Hakim notched the vital second on Saturday

Striker Paul Hakim notched the vital second on Saturday

ST Albans City boss Steve Castle was delighted with the firepower on show as title hopefuls Lewes were stunned at the Dripping Pan on Saturday. The Saints were in confident mood after two wins on the bounce and midfielder Lee Clarke lashed in a spectacula

ST Albans City boss Steve Castle was delighted with the firepower on show as title hopefuls Lewes were stunned at the Dripping Pan on Saturday.

The Saints were in confident mood after two wins on the bounce and midfielder Lee Clarke lashed in a spectacular opener before striker Paul Hakim added the crucial and deserved second late on. Powerful forward Akanni Sunday Wasiu also caught the eye with a superb display and manager Castle said: "I must give a mention to Sunday even though he didn't score. I asked him for a little bit more effort after the Basingstoke game and he put in as much effort as he could.

"I am made up with the two of them (Sunday and Hakim). They were a threat all afternoon. They must have scared the Lewes centre backs. Sunday has now set his standard. When we signed him he was an unknown quantity but he looked the part in training. I think he can definitely play at this level.

"Lee Clarke had to do a job for us, and he scored a cracking goal. He was sensible because he didn't want to leave Luke Thurlbourne on his own. The midfield were fantastic. Little Luke Thurlbourne had a battle on his hands and he competed very well."

The manner of the confident and controlled display that brushed aside the now deposed leaders Lewes gave Castle an extra boost after the wins against struggling outfits Weston-super-Mare and Basingstoke Town. Castle said: "WSM and Basingstoke were very beatable sides but this win shows everybody that, when we apply ourselves, we can take on the very best. We never came for a draw in any shape or form. I had seen them on Tuesday and they were awful. They were much better against us but I felt there was something here for us. I have to give an added mention to both wide lads as Paul Bruce has done a fantastic job for me, he enjoys playing more centrally but he tucks in there and Hassan Sulaiman works his socks off."

Victory lifted Saints to within two points behind Weston-super-Mare although they remain in the drop zone, a point behind Welling United who beat Weston. Castle's men go in search of a fourth straight win when they travel to Thurrock on Saturday and then face Hayes & Yeading at Clarence Park on Easter Monday. Castle said: "We don't want to get carried away but we are back in the mix. The results bring Weston back into it. We are only concerned with ourselves and we have to keep going, keep getting wins."

Castle also hailed the strength of his squad with Simon Martin kept out by the form of Sunday and Hakim and defenders Hasim Deen and Marcel McKie also on the bench. James Quilter returns from suspension for the trip to Thurrock.

l Inih Effiong continued his good scoring form for the Oaklands College St Albans City Saints side as they went down 8-2 to Conference Youth Central Division leaders Brightlingsea Regent on Wednesday, March 12.

Craig Mortimer scored to earn City reserves a 1-1 draw at Leighton Town on Tuesday, March 11. The strong City side featured a number of current and former Oaklands College players. Tegana James continued his recovery from serious injury with a full game in defence. Striker Ryan Baronet lined up alongside former Oaklands attacker Chris Haslam with Mortimer and Toby Ashcroft in midfield and Jack Cartwright at centre back. Hamza Twomey played 84 minutes and Alex Olcot came off the bench after the hour to mark his recovery from injury trouble.

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