Don’t underestimate Conference South, says Gray after St Albans finally ended barren run

John Frendo celebrating the goal that secured the Saints all three points. Picture: Leigh Page

John Frendo celebrating the goal that secured the Saints all three points. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

St Albans City emerged from the wreckage of a seven-game winless streak on Saturday with a classy, comprehensive 2-0 victory over Weston-super-Mare.

Sam Corcoran scored a goal of the utmost class before John Frendo, invigorated by his new partnership with Simon Thomas, who signed from Chesham United last week, wrapped up three points.

It was the Saints’ first win in seven weeks and one of their best of the season. It left many asking the question: Where has this performance been recently?

Joint manager James Gray answered: “You can’t underestimate how tough this league is. We haven’t been heavily beaten and when we play like we can and with a tempo then we can live with a lot of teams.

“The boys had a determination about them. That’s the most frustrating part; I see them at training doing great things but on Saturdays, when there’s pressure, they play within themselves. We need to break free from that and get our attacking players playing well.”

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The Saints have been guilty of surrendered the initiative in games too early this season. On Saturday, the defence looked assured and kept mistakes to a minimum. There were mistakes, and a better team may have capitalised, but Joe Welch never looked like getting beaten against Weston.

“We cut out unnecessary mistakes,” explained Gray, “which gives you a footing to stay in the game. We’ve been giving away early goals and it’s always hard to come back from.”

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The job facing Gray, Graham Golds and the rest of the management team is bottling this performance.

“It’s always within us; it’s our job to get it out of them,” said Gray. “We’ve got ideas to change the mentality and hopefully we can have a good end to the season and get it right next year.”

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