Allinson’s below-par Saints see six-game run brought to an end by Braintree reverse

Action from St Albans match at Braintree (pic Bob Walkley)

Action from St Albans match at Braintree (pic Bob Walkley) - Credit: Archant

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson had few complaints after seeing his side’s six-game winning start to the National South season come to an end at Braintree on Bank Holiday Monday.

Saints had to come from behind to beat Concord Rangers at Clarence Park on Saturday, thanks to second-half goals from David Noble and Charlie Walker.

But there was no way back at Cressing Road after Marc Okoye headed the hosts in front on 64 minutes and Allinson said: “For the best part of the game we were second best. We just look like we’ve lost out way the last couple of games.

“We didn’t defend properly and had too many players off their games. In the second half I felt we defended a lot better all over the park and unforunately we got done from a set-piece.

“It’s the first time it has happened this year, a corner, a free header and the guy has scored.”

Try as they might Saints could not get themselves back on level terms and Allinson admitted they missed the influence of Noble.

“We missed David’s creativity, composure and experience,” he added.

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“He would’ve got people organised, but credit to Braintree, their shape and movement caused us problems in the first half, but we just didn’t work hard enough off the ball.

“We were very static in a lot of areas and they pressed us all over the park and have taken their chance when it has come.

“It’s a shame it was from a set-piece, I don’t like conceding from set-pieces. We never really opened them up. Sam Merson had one half chance and we created a couple of corners, but the quality on the ball in the box wasn’t enough.”

Defeat was frustrating to take, though, as Allinson felt his small squad were far from at their best as they played their second game in three days.

“It was tough out there and two games in three days in the heat,” he added. “A few of ours didn’t turn up, that’s the disappointing thing and the reason why we haven’t come away with at least a point. If we don’t turn up, we’re going to be second best.

“At 0-0 after 60 minutes I felt we were going to get a point, even though I felt we were growing into the game, but they got the goal, got everyone behind the ball and managed to see out the game better than we did.”