City crash out of FA Trophy in Yorkshire as boss admits ‘it could easily have been 10’

Dean Snedker denies Joe Leesley. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Dean Snedker denies Joe Leesley. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

It’s a strange thing to say after a 5-0 defeat but St Albans City’s manager Ian Allinson was almost relieved at the scoreline – as he admitted it could have been double that.

St Albans City's Dean Snedker. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

St Albans City's Dean Snedker. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Having suffered the heartbreak of conceding a goal 25 seconds from the end of added time on Saturday, City felt their FA Trophy replay away to Vanarama National League North side Harrogate Town was more than a winnable game.

Dean Snedker earned praise from Ian Allinson for his performance at Harrogate Town. Picture: LEIGH P

Dean Snedker earned praise from Ian Allinson for his performance at Harrogate Town. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

And trailing by just one goal at the break at Wetherby Road on Tuesday that confidence was still there.

Solomon Sambou watches the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Solomon Sambou watches the ball. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

But free-scoring Harrogate showed why they are averaging over two goals a game in the league by dismantling Saints in the second half.

St Albans City go close in the first half against Harrogate Town. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

St Albans City go close in the first half against Harrogate Town. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Allinson said: “I felt up to half-time we were in the game. I felt we were playing well without really imposing ourselves in the final third.

Kieran Monlouis made a great run into the Harrogate box. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Kieran Monlouis made a great run into the Harrogate box. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant


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“We got into some really good positions but our ball retention wasn’t very good.

Tom Bender picks up a yellow card. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Tom Bender picks up a yellow card. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“But once the second goal went in and we chased the game, we opened ourselves up to a counter attacking team and it could quite easily have been 10 in the end.

Kieran Monlouis slaloms into the Harrogate penalty area. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Kieran Monlouis slaloms into the Harrogate penalty area. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

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“I’m just so pleased it is only five because the amount of chances they missed and the amount of saves that Dean [Snedker] made in that last 35 minutes has kept the score down to a respectable level.

Rhys Murrell-Williamson drives forward. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Rhys Murrell-Williamson drives forward. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“It comes down to small margins. We had our opportunity on Saturday and we didn’t take it and we’ve been punished. We have to accept that.

Sam Merson looks to connect with a header. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Sam Merson looks to connect with a header. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“Full credit to them; in the second half they were very good.”

Snow sprays up as Toby Lees tackles Shaun Lucien. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Snow sprays up as Toby Lees tackles Shaun Lucien. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

It was a freezing night in North Yorkshire but the heavy snowfall that had been forecast failed to materialise with just the odd flurry causing a small dusting on the 3G pitch.

Charlie Walker was another sub at Wetherby Road. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Charlie Walker was another sub at Wetherby Road. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

And Allinson was quick to rule that out as an excuse, as well as the long coach journey although he did feel there might have been another problem.

Harvey Bradbury came on as a second-half substitute. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Harvey Bradbury came on as a second-half substitute. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“The pitch was fine,” he said. “It was perfect conditions, great for both teams and there was some good football played out there.

Shaun Lucien takes his man on. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Shaun Lucien takes his man on. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

“In the end they counter attacked well and their pace and movement was too good for us.

“We’ve got a concentration level in this changing room that sometimes doesn’t work for 90 minutes and that’s something I’ve got to work on.

“We keep saying how young these players are but they’ve got to concentrate for 90, 95 minutes.

“And as you saw on Saturday, one lapse of concentration has cost us a place in the next round of the FA Trophy.

“We do need to look at the squad. I saw a few flaws tonight that I didn’t enjoy and didn’t like.

“One or two players’ heads went down very quickly and one or two players looked disinterested.

“Fortunately enough Dean Snedker has made three or four outstanding saves to keep the score down.”

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