Castle may make changes
ONE goal in four games tells its own story and has left St Albans City manager Steve Castle contemplating changes to his squad. If you ignore Herts Senior Cup matches, St Albans have only found the net against Stevenage since their unbeaten run came to an
ONE goal in four games tells its own story and has left St Albans City manager Steve Castle contemplating changes to his squad.
If you ignore Herts Senior Cup matches, St Albans have only found the net against Stevenage since their unbeaten run came to an end at Braintree, with their last league goal coming against Hayes & Yeading at the start of November.
Speaking after Saturday's defeat to Havant, Castle said: "As well as we have done on that unbeaten run we've just gone and we've left our shooting boots at home. It just isn't happening and it's not for the want of effort or application, which is in abundance from each and every one of them. They're a good honest bunch of lads, but I might just have to shake a few things up a little bit, that's my job and that's my job to be critical of what they are achieving. The unbeaten run we've been on is long gone.
"Goals obviously win games and they got themselves in front with a set play that was decent which is obviously a bit poor on our part. Then obviously the second goal which was a mistake by Ryan Frater and James Fisher not clearing it."
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The Saints boss admits it's been a tough few weeks for his side but he wants them to show more belief in their ability and take a few more gambles in the opposition penalty area. "It's tough at the moment, we're not creating chances, we're not getting the ball in the box regularly enough and we're not getting enough bodies in the box. Consequently the bottom line is if you don't shoot and you don't get the ball in the penalty area on enough occasions you're not going to score.
Jonathan Hunt and Sam Hurrell, that's where we're looking for just something that little bit special. The lad they had, I think it's Charlie Henry, looked very accomplished and looked very dangerous and caused us a lot of problems when he was on the ball. We don't produce enough from the wide areas."
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One thing the City boss cannot fault is his side's effort, saying: "We'll match a lot of teams and if possession and attitude and application was part of the agenda to get three points we'd always be level if not better than the opposition but unfortunately it's not. It's all about what goes in the paper on a Sunday morning, it's goals and the plain fact is we haven't been prolific in front of goal from anywhere."
Lee Clarke started his first league game since October 25 and Castle was pleased with the work he did in the centre of midfield. "I think Lee Clarke did reasonably well considering everything that he's got on his plate with a torn cartilage. He's doing fantastically well to keep going and had a say in it."
Gary Cohen missed Saturday's game with a prior commitment, with Simon Martin coming into the side in his place.
"Gary had a prior commitment that I knew about when I signed him and that's it in a nutshell unfortunately. Simon's done well and it's unfortunate up top that you get judged on your goals. He's put himself about. We didn't have the pace of Gary Cohen but I don't think the front two themselves were particularly the problem. They've tried to create as much as they could between themselves but we don't get enough crosses in, we don't get enough headers in the box and we don't have enough belief, especially from set plays when we are taking them. The front two huffed and puffed but arguably away from home goals and chances, and taking chances change games."
City now go into a double header with Alan Devonshire's Hampton and Richmond with Castle saying they are vital games.