Cold snap causes problems for St Albans City

Josh Hill has joined Chelmsford City. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Josh Hill has joined Chelmsford City. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

The postponement of last Saturday’s tie at Poole Town was both a blessing and a curse according to St Albans City manager Ian Allinson.

The game between the two Vanarama National League South play-off chasing sides was, like many others across the south, a victim of heavy overnight frost.

And it left the City boss with mixed feelings.

“It’s a strange one,” he said. “It’s give us a few more days to get Charlie Walker up to full fitness. We would have probably had him on the bench [last Saturday] even though we probably wouldn’t have wanted to risk him. But he’ll probably be fine for this weekend.

“But then it would have been interesting to see if we could have carried on from the second half against Hemel.

“We’ve still got to play them but hopefully in better weather. But it will be a Tuesday night and everyone has to try and plan their workloads around finishing at 3pm.”

City have been lucky in that this is the first game cancelled this season because of bad weather.

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However, the cold snap has played havoc with the club’s training sessions.

He said: “We set up last Thursday, did the warm up but the frost came down so quickly and it got so dangerous we had to stop after an hour. It was just impossible to train.

“This week we should be able to get some more in compared to what we have over the last seven or 10 days.”

Weather permitting Saints should be back in action this week when they go to Concord Rangers.

But such was the second-half performance against Hemel that Allinson believes City can get back to winning ways after five without success.

He said: “The mistakes [at Hemel] put us on the back foot but to come back in the last two games shows there’s a lot of charcter there, lots of willingness to work and the fitness levels have shown in the last two games.

“Without making any excuses we’re trying to bed in a new squad in pretty quickly. In pre-season you’ve got five or six games to do that, here we haven’t had the opportunity.”

One player who won’t make the trip to Canvey Island is Josh Hill, with the summer signing departing Clarence Park for Chelmsford City.

Allinson revealed to the Herts Ad: “When we brought in Tom Gardiner and Jack Saville we basically had too many centre-halves. It would have been nice had he gone out on loan but I think he wanted to play more football so it was a mutual decision.

“It was his choice where to go. We circulated his name and there was five or six clubs came in but that was his choice at the end of the day.

“I still feel quite comfortable with Jack Saville, Tom Gardiner and Ben Martin and I still feel Tom Bender can play centre-half as we saw at Dartford.

“We’ve also got George Casey coming back after being out for six to eight weeks and we know he can play right back and Ben Herd left back.

“I quite like the look of Tom as a centre halfv but we have to make sure we’ve got cover for him at left back because also he’s been a very good left back for us this season.”