City eye cup upset as they prepare for Wood TV test

St Albans City played in front of the TV cameras last season when Carlisle United visited Clarence P

St Albans City played in front of the TV cameras last season when Carlisle United visited Clarence Park. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

The glare of the TV cameras and a visit from a rival from a higher division sounds daunting but St Albans City manager Ian Allinson is relishing the visit of Boreham Wood and believes a magical FA Cup shock could be on the cards.

Saints face Wood, who sit 11th in the Vanarama National League, in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round with the winners taking their place in the first round proper.

It will be shown live by the BBC both on their website and via the red button on the TV.

And while Allinson, who spent eight years at Meadow Park, is expecting a tough encounter, he is also aware that this has all the makings of an upset.

He said: “I went to watch them last week. On their day they’re very good but it’s a game I’m going to enjoy and relish and hopefully we can knock them out.

“It’s great to go into a game as the underdogs, we have no pressure on us.

“They’re the team from the National League and whatever we do, we’ll look forward to it.”

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Saints prepared for the game with a 2-0 win over Bath City, a victory that lifted them to second in the National League South.

That was in front of a season high crowd of 1,510 and the City boss would love to see those numbers come through the door again this week.

“The crowd were fantastic,” he enthused. “We got 1,500 people in here, and I know it’s Non League Day but I take my hat off to every single person who turned up. They made a lot of noise.

“Hopefully we can get a big crowd and that’ll put a lot of pressure on [Boreham Wood] and their young manager to come here and get a result.

“We’ll approach it professionally and then we’ll see how good we can be on the day. If every single player of mine turns up, then we’ve got a chance.

“Upsets happen to everyone.”

The arrival of the TV cameras means kick-off will be at 12.30pm and not the usual 3pm.

That brings different issues to normal but Allinson is confident his squad will be able to handle the change.

He said: “We’ll have to be in nice and early because it is different. We’ll not get the chance to get up and lie around for a bit.

“It’s a funny kick-off but it is good for both clubs as you get a bit of national coverage.

“Hopefully we can show the nation what we can do.”