Carlisle should be prepared for ‘a good test’ in FA Cup

James Russell was part of Ian Allinson's Boreham Wood squad that almost shocked Carlisle United in 2

James Russell was part of Ian Allinson's Boreham Wood squad that almost shocked Carlisle United in 2013. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson was delighted after the draw for the FA Cup first round proper paired St Albans City at home to Sky Bet League Two outfit Carlisle United.

Victory over Egham Town on Saturday sent Saints into the first round for the third time in four years.

Three years ago City hosted Mansfield Town at Clarence Park attracting a crowd of 3,251.

And the City boss is happy that the club will get to have another occasion like that this time around.

He said: “I’m pleased for the players, the supporters and the club. The one thing you don’t want when you get to his stage after battling through the rounds is a horrible draw.

“We’ll give them a good test. We’re a match for most teams at home.”

Allinson has previous experience against the Cumbrians having faced them as manager of Boreham Wood at the same time City faced Mansfield.

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Then Wood managed a 0-0 draw at home before taking the lead at Brunton Park in the replay.

However, two goals in the last 10 minutes, including the winner five minutes into injury time, sent Carlisle through.

Allinson though said nothing should be read into that now.

“It’s a different management team there now and Keith Curle has done a fantastic job,” he said.

“It was only last year that the whole ground was covered in water and he’s turned them into a play-off team in that time. They will be difficult to play against.”

Carlisle are in Hertfordshire this Saturday when they play Stevenage and City will get to benefit from that.

Allinson said: “We’ve got someone organised to go and watch them and Darren Sarll [Stevenage’s manager] has said he will give us his notes and a video of the match to watch.”

While Allinson is enjoying City’s progress in the FA Cup, he doesn’t want them to lose sight of their primary target, finishing as high as possible in Vanarama National League South.

He added: “The thing about the FA Cup is that it’s great to have it but when you come out of it there’s sometimes a lull.

“We need to be in the top five after the next two games and then we’ll have two games to catch up against Dartford and Margate before Christmas.”

They have also got a Herts Senior Challenge Cup clash with near neighbours London Colney to fit in.

That is currently scheduled for Tuesday, November 1, four days prior to the Carlisle game.

It could yet be moved 24 hours before but Allinson is confident it won’t prove too much of a hinderance, and in fact, could be a help to his team.

He said: “We’ve got quite a big squad and it will give me the chance to look at some of the others who haven’t had a chance.

“That’s important as there are five or six who need starts.”