Scruffy game but Saints happy with a point at Dulwich Hamlet

Michael Clark continued his return from injury with 90 minutes for St Albans City against Dulwich Hamlet.

Michael Clark continued his return from injury with 90 minutes for St Albans City against Dulwich Hamlet. - Credit: PETER SHORT

St Albans City picked up a "scruffy" point away to fellow play-off hopefuls Dulwich Hamlet in National League South.

The 0-0 draw leaves them ninth in the table but just two points away from the top seven and with at least two games in hand on all the sides above them.

Manager Ian Allinson said: "It was a scruffy game. It was two teams who went toe-to-toe and two teams who weren’t looking to get beat more than anything. 

"Overall, we probably had the better chances. 

The save the keeper has made in the first half was excellent and then there is the shot Mitchell [Weiss] has had that hit the post and come out late on. 

"But it was generally a scrappy game and we are happy with what we got."

It ended a brief hiccough which has seen the Saints lose their last two but it was also the third game without troubling the scorers, something the boss hopes the signing of Joe Neal from Biggleswade Town will help change.

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He said: "The one thing we’ve talked about over the last few weeks is the amount of goals we’ve scored. 

"We’re going through a little spell at the moment where we are not converting the chances we are creating. 

"Getting an additional striker in worked great. Mitchell looked sharp when he came on, not that he hasn’t over the last few games, but making the change at [70 minutes] was good and gave us an energy. 

"It gave an injection in the team and we could have nicked it at the end. 

"Mitchell and Shaun [Jeffers] have played together for a while but for his debut, and playing in the league above, I thought Joe was very good in the first half. 

"His ball retention helped Shaun." 

On the plus side, and at the other end, this was a third clean sheet in the last five league outings, with Michael Clark getting only a fifth appearance of the campaign so far as he battles back from injury.

The defender said: "It was tough as the game went on, I started to cramp up a bit, but I feel like I am getting my fitness back with each training session and each game. 

"Hopefully I can finish the season strong and injury free. 

"We were in it for the majority of the game, especially the second half. 

"We did have a few chances but it was difficult in the conditions to play the football we know we can play."