Chappell: ‘At the start of the year, we lose that game’

The players and managers celebrate the opening goal. Picture: Leigh Page

The players and managers celebrate the opening goal. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

Saturday’s draw with Basingstoke Town shows how far St Albans City have come this season, according to Lee Chappell.

The Saints drew 1-1 with Jason Bristow’s promotion-chasing side at Clarence Park, although it probably should have been a win. Sam Corcoran scored City’s only goal in a completely dominant first half. Helped by a superb display from goalkeeeper Stuart Moore, Basingstoke found a foothold in the second, scoring through Manny Williams, and managed to salvage a draw.

It was also a point gained for the Saints. While the club and fans will lament that it should have been three, St Albans have lost a lot of close games this year, so the draw, only their fifth of the season, is still a step forward.

“At the start of the season, we lose that game,” said Chappell. “I think we’re stronger as a squad now. If we had this squad at the start of the season then I think we’re comfortably in the top six or seven now we’ve played everyone at least once.

“We seem to be taking four points off the big teams and losing stupid games against lesser clubs, but it’s a step in the right direction, another good performance and we’ve gradually made our home ground into a fortress.”

On the performance he added: “We gave away some silly crosses, corners and free-kicks but we were good. We were good in midweek against Havant and Waterlooville - we could, and should, have nicked it - and I felt like we dropped two points [against Basingstoke] because we were that good.

“To say we dropped two points against Basingstoke Town, who will definitely be in play-offs, is a good thing, I suppose.”