City boss Gray happy to blood youngsters

Elliot Bailey

Elliot Bailey - Credit: Archant

ST ALBANS City joint boss James Gray was pleased he was able to blood some of his younger players in Tuesday night’s 3-2 Herts Senior Cup defeat to Hemel Hempstead Town.

While not happy with the display in the first 45 minutes, after which his side were 3-1 down, he was more encouraged by what followed.

“I was disappointed with the first half performance and let the lads know that at half-time,” he said.

“I thought we did better in the second half especially considering they had a pretty much full strength front six against our makeshift XI.”

Ahead of the game, which was rescheduled after last Tuesday’s postponement due to snow, City bosses Gray and Graham Golds were dealt a blow with the news that several recent signings could not feature in the match.

To play they would have needed to have been registered to the club ahead of the orginal fixture date last week, on top of that news signings Dave Keenleyside and Josh Urquhart were cup-tied.

“It was frustrating because we had lads there in the stand that couldn’t play, but three or four of them will play on Saturday,” he said.

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Youth products Elliott Bailey, James Kaloczi, Matt Taylor, Ken Ogbuagu and Myles Scott all finished the match for the Saints.

“We had five youngsters on the field at the end so that was pleasing. They said the game was fast paced, it will have been a good experience for them.”

City travel to Arlesey Town on Saturday in the league and are expected to come face-to-face with former players Ryan Frater and Danny Gordon.

St Albans are likely to field a much-changed side from the cup defeat with new signings Joe Bruce, Ryan Wharton, Charlie Dove and Jordan Patrick expected to feature, while Keeneyside, Urquhart and regular keeper Nick Jupp look set to return.

Gray added of Arlesey: “They are a physically strong side and are on a decent run, apart from a defeat to Leamington last weekend. It will be a tough test, but one we’re looking forward to.”