City ready to bounce back with double home date after controversial loss to Tigers

Tom Gardiner fires St Albans City level for the second time against Gloucester City. Picture: BOB WA

Tom Gardiner fires St Albans City level for the second time against Gloucester City. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Two home games gives St Albans City the perfect opportunity to bounce back after falling to a second successive defeat according to Ian Allinson.

City host Eastbourne Borough on Saturday before Havant & Waterlooville visit Clarence Park on Tuesday.

They come after a 3-2 home reverse against Gloucester City on Saturday, the second defeat in a row following six straight victories to open the Vanarama National League South season.

But despite the loss, which saw Ben Herd sent off, the Saints boss saw more than enough to remain confident.

“I felt we dominated the last 25 minutes of the first half and played some good football,” he said. “We passed it, we moved it and everything was really good.

“The work ethic and commitment with 10 men was terrific.

“[The lads] still tried to play football and we got a great equaliser but it’s just unfortunate we couldn’t hang on and were caught short on a set-piece.

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“We have to pick ourselves up but the work-rate was there and the quality of football we played at times was outstanding.

“Both Eastbourne and Havant are flying at the moment.

“They’re going to be tough games and as we’ve said before there are no easy games in this league.

“We have to look at each game and we know there will be ups and downs but if we play like we did against Gloucester, we’ll win more than we lose.”

The decision to dismiss Herd for deliberate handball was undoubtedly the game-changing moment.

Shaun Lucien had already cancelled out a third minute Sam Avery opener when the ball struck City’s right-back on the arm early in the second half.

Ed Williams converted the resulting penalty and although Tom Gardiner equalised for the 10-men, a goal from Robbie Cundy six minutes from time handed the victory to Gloucester.

Allinson though was clear on how he viewed the situation.

He said: “Ben’s trying to block the ball. Yes it’s hit his hand and ok it’s a penalty, but it’s never a red card for me.

“The thing is that is not a deliberate handball and we’re now hit with a triple whammy.

“They’ve scored the penalty, we’ve had Ben sent off and he now misses a game through suspension.”