David Noble was in defiant mood after watching St Albans City fall to defeat at home to Aveley.

The 1-0 reverse, courtesy of a 65th minute strike from Alex Hernandez, was their fourth from eight games at Clarence Park and their seventh in total from 15, leaving them back in the middle of the pack in 10th.

But the City boss refused to condemn the effort shown.

Herts Advertiser: Sam Bentley saved a penalty against Aveley. Picture: JIM STANDENSam Bentley saved a penalty against Aveley. Picture: JIM STANDEN (Image: Jim Standen)

"I don't think it was the worst performance," he said. "I think we deserved at least a draw when you look at the chances created by both teams.

"Obviously Sam [Bentley] saves the penalty but we had a really bad spell in the second half where we couldn't look after the ball in transition.

"And that's what creates those spells, you win the ball back but keep giving the ball back to them.

"It keeps their tails up and we had that for 15 minutes at the start of the second half.

"Other than that, I don't think we were terrible. There was some really good play but the result is obviously disappointing."

And he gave short shrift to those City fans clamouring to know why hotshot Shaun Jeffers was once again on the bench.

Noble said: "We won 3-2 on Tuesday [against Slough] so we kept the same team, other than Ryan Blackman who is suspended and Jack James came in for Ben Wyatt who is injured.

"That's it."

He also added that Jeffers was on the pitch when one chance went begging, chances that would have brought that elusive point.

"It was decision making," said the Saints boss. "We did have two or three crosses go in front of the goal.

"Shaun nearly gets on one, I think he was caught between going for it with his head or his foot.

"But you have to want to score goals, you have to want to be in there.

"We had a few opportunities after they scored but we start playing with a bit of intensity after we go 1-0 down.

"You want to get on the ball and make things happen.

"We have to be doing that from the first whistle."

Saints now have an extended break from action, with Saturday's planned game against Worthing postponed due to the Rebels being in the FA Cup first round.

City return on Tuesday, November 7, when they head to Braintree Town and Noble says the time in between has to be used productively, with some hard graft needed.

He said: "You have to sit for 10 days on a defeat, which is not easy, but it gives us three sessions to work and we need to work. We always need to work.

"You never arrive at the finished product ever, you'll never see the best teams sitting on their laurels.

"They want their players to get better constantly, to understand what they are doing more and more and more.

"We want our players to do so as well."