Castle set to hold the fort
CARETAKER manager Steve Castle is likely to be in charge again as St Albans City go away to FA Cup headline makers Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday. Saints will be hoping to take advantage of the distraction of Havant s clash home Third Round replay a
CARETAKER manager Steve Castle is likely to be in charge again as St Albans City go away to FA Cup headline makers Havant and Waterlooville on Saturday.
Saints will be hoping to take advantage of the distraction of Havant's clash home Third Round replay against League One Leaders Swansea. The fixture between Havant and Saints goes ahead because the cup replay will take place on Wednesday, January 16 rather than the originally intended Monday.
City chairman John Gibson is not expecting to confirm a permanent appointment this week. Experienced manager George Borg who left Braintree Town earlier this season, and former Harrow Borough coach Phil Gridelet who was at Clarence Park on Saturday have expressed an interest in the post. Hendon boss Gary McCann, who saw his team crash to a 5-0 defeat at home to Carshalton Athletic on Saturday, has also been linked with the vacancy. Gibson said: "There is not a single candidate that we are aware of who is tried and tested in this league and who is ideal for us. George Borg has got a track record and there are others in the lower leagues who have done very well but not achieved as much as Dave Anderson had in the past. We haven't got a clue what the answer is at this moment in time. I do not think we will have a manager in place before the end of the week."
Steve Castle has not ruled out taking the job on a permanent basis and was left bemused on Saturday after Saints were stunned by fellow relegation strugglers Sutton United.
Lee Clarke fired a tame penalty straight at Sutton goalkeeper Phil Wilson early on but the captain's woes appeared to be over when Jon Stevenson, continuing his role as an emergency striker, headed home the goal City deserved for controlling the play.
Both sides were already down to 10-men with Saints harshly losing the influential Paul Bruce for his part in a scuffle with Sutton substitute Nicky Greene who threw a punch. City full back Jomo Faal-Thomas was then sent off for a second bookable offence in conceding a penalty and Sutton striker Craig Dundas made it 1-1. The horror script appeared to be written for nine-men Saints and in injury time the visitors grabbed the three points with a goal from John Scarborough that sent the managerless Saints to the foot of the Blue Square South.
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Full back Damian Batt is unlikely to be returning to Clarence Park. The former City star has been transfer listed by Stevenage Borough and was at the City game on Saturday fuelling speculation of a return. Batt, who is expected to leave on a free transfer, is considering a number of offers.
City goalkeeper Nick Eyre was cautioned by referee Ian Crouch following the final whistle on Saturday. He became the fifth City player to pick up a yellow card on the day with Craig Vargas, Jon Stevenson, Lee Clarke also in the book and Jomo Faal-Thomas given his marching orders for two yellows. Paul Bruce received a straight red card and is now expected to serve a five match suspension, three matches for the dismissal and two for reaching 10 bookings this term. Clarke is one booking away from a two game ban, on nine yellow cards. Assistant Andy Edwards, helping out Steve Castle, was reported for misconduct after the match by the referee.
Saints are set to narrowly escape a £500 fine which would have been dealt out by the FA if six players had received bookings. Saints have already been fined once this term for picking up six bookings in a match.