Allinson wants more but admits changes are unlikely

Sam Merson slots home past the advancing Laurie Walker. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Sam Merson slots home past the advancing Laurie Walker. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson says there probably won’t be too many changes as St Albans City and Hemel Hempstead Town prepare for round two of their back-to-back festive games in National League South.

Sam Merson celebrates the Saints first goal of the game with new signing Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick

Sam Merson celebrates the Saints first goal of the game with new signing Shaquille Hippolyte-Patrick. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

The rivals drew 2-2 at Clarence Park on Boxing Day with City twice relying on Sam Merson to score an equaliser.

The return match is on New Year’s Day at Vauxhall Road but the City boss believes in his squad and says with a bit more application, they could return with all three points.

He said: “This squad has been very consistent in the last few weeks and has not lost and you have to be careful not to tinker too much and upset the balance.

“I just felt that one or two players didn’t reach the level we expect of them which is disappointing but not everyone can play well every single week so we have to accept that.

Hemel look dejected as St Albans city celebrate their equaliser. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Hemel look dejected as St Albans city celebrate their equaliser. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant


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“We know how tough it will be. We’re not playing a Hemel Hempstead side that are a poor side. They are in the top seven where we want to be and have some good results in recent weeks.”

The City boss says the players will still be able to enjoy the New Year celebrations but has stressed the need for proper preparation.

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He said: “We’ll talk to them about what we expect as if we don’t turn up and we’re not right, we’ll get our backsides smacked.

“We’ve seen it many times though that if you don’t prepare properly and don’t look after yourself the night before a game, you’ll get performances that are not good enough to win a match.”

Zane Banton is shown a red card against Hemel Hempstead. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Zane Banton is shown a red card against Hemel Hempstead. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

The 2-2 draw, the fifth successive league game between the pair that has ended up like that, followed an impressive win over Wealdstone on Saturday.

And Allinson believes there was a hangover from that game at Grosvenor Vale which meant City started sluggish.

“It took them to score for us to wake ourselves up,” said the boss. “I was a bit disappointed with us. For the first 45 minutes we didn’t move the ball very quickly.

“We passed it for fun late on against Wealdstone and we tried to do that here but it took 45 minutes to realise it’s a new game and you have to start afresh and work hard.

Hemel look dejected as St Albans city celebrate their equaliser. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Hemel look dejected as St Albans city celebrate their equaliser. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“But it’s another point towards where we’re trying to get and if someone had said you’ll take four points off Wealdstone and Hemel at this stage of the season, I’d have snapped their hands off.”

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