Discipline must improve says St Albans City boss

Darrne Locke made a return to the City starting line-up after a groin injury. Picture: BOB WALKLEY

Darrne Locke made a return to the City starting line-up after a groin injury. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson says discipline has to improve among his St Albans City squad and he is ready to start playing the hardline – after a third sending off in four days.

Ben Martin and Junior Morias both saw red in Saturday’s clash at Maidenhead United and Morias was again off for an early bath after Tuesday’s draw with Hemel Hempstead Town.

Allinson says that those incidents have cost his side valuable points in the Vanarama National League South and he is set to take strong action to prevent it happening again.

He said: “To be fair to Hemel they passed it nice, kept the ball well and got lots of corners but they didn’t really break us down and every time we got the ball we looked like scoring. I felt we could have been four-up at half time and in not taking those chances when we were having that good spell, it’s come back and hurt us.

“And then another lack of discipline and in the end it’s taken the gloss of what would have been a good win.

“I’d like to see [the incident] again. It looked like he’s had a reaction to the lad stepping back on him but I don’t think Junior’s got any arguments. He’s had a little kick out, a little stamp or whatever, and the referee has seen it straight away and reacted.

“[Discipline] has to improve and I’ve told the players afterwards. And unfortunately it’s going to start costing them money now because I’ll start fining them.

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“I can’t criticise the players from their commitment, courage, work-rate and endeavour; everything they’ve done has been absolutely outstanding. The only thing I will criticise is their lack of discipline that has crept in and we have to improve on that otherwise it will cost us come the end of the season.”

Allinson did pay special tribute to Darren Locke, who returned to the side for the first time this season, after missing most of the summer with a groin injury.

Allinson said: “With Ben [Martin], Andrew [Iwediuno] and Ryan [Johnson] all out with knee injuries, we were really on bare bones and put a call in to Lockey.

“He’s had three 90 minutes with Barton Rovers and I thought he was outstanding. He said at half-time he was starting to tighten up and in the last 15, 20 minutes he was running on empty but he still kept putting his head in and still kept clearing his lines.

“It’s such a shame as we probably needed to take him off with about 15 minutes to go and put some fresh legs on back there. But for him to come in and show that character, it shows what a St Albans man he is. A phone call at 11am, he’s here at 6.30pm and he’s put an outstanding shift in. It was tough in that last 20 minutes, with that man short.

“I can’t thank him enough. He’s our player at the end of the day but for him to come in and do the job he did was absolutely outstanding.”