City need wins quick to avoid relegation dog fight

Lee Chappell looks for a way past Carl Martin. Picture: Leigh Page

Lee Chappell looks for a way past Carl Martin. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City are in danger of being dragged into a ‘relegation dog fight’ unless they quickly arrest their recent dip in form that has seen them win twice in 13 games, according to joint manager James Gray.

Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Wealdstone at Clarence Park was their sixth in a row in the Vanarama Conference South. The damage was not catastrophic as the Saints only dropped a single place, to 15th, and remain 11 points above the drop zone.

However, the situation could worsen in a hurry if joint managers Gray and Graham Golds can’t get their team playing winning football.

“We’re only two or three wins away from being secure,” said Gray after Saturday’s loss. “We need to do that as quickly as possible or we’ll get dragged into a relegation dog fight. I’ve been in one before and it’s not a nice place to be.”

“I think a little bit of belief has gone out of the boys - everyone could see that. We seem like nearly men; every week we’re getting chance after chance and not putting them away and we’re on the wrong side of a result.

“We find ourselves in a bad run and we need to get better and get better quickly.”

City need results in their next four games, starting at Concord Rangers, the last team St Albans beat in the league, on Saturday. After this weekend, the Saints face Weston-super-Mare, Staines Town and Bishop’s Stortford.

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If they are to avoid a nervous end to the season, they need a minimum of six points because April’s run of games is hellish. City welcome Eastbourne Borough and Ebbsfleet United either side of a trip to Gosport Borough.

The task is undoubtedly a tough one, and it’s made even more so due to the players’ inexperience in the Conference South.

“It’s difficult because we’re asking players who never been in this situation to get us out of it,” added Gray. “It’s going to be tough but need to get over the line.”