Enjoyment the focus for Castle

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle wants his players to forget about the pressures of winning and have fun this weekend as they begin their FA Cup campaign.

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle wants his players to forget about the pressures of winning and have fun this weekend as they begin their FA Cup campaign.

The Saints welcome Beckenham Town to Clarence Park on Saturday looking to end a run of five seasons without an FA Cup victory and despite the well documented need for the prize money on offer - �4,500 at this stage - boss Castle wants his players to put that to the back of their minds and go out and enjoy themselves.

“We all know how important things are off the field but I don’t want to be speaking about that, I want to be speaking about the fun of it all,” Castle told the Herts Advertiser.

“We’re not counting our chickens. They are a team that has done well to get to this level, they’ll be right up for it so we’ve got to just treat it as if it’s playing against Havant & Waterlooville and Bromley.


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“(We’ll) Give them every respect and lets see if we can get some fun with it that’s what we’re all here for.

“(That’s why) We’re all getting up at silly o’clock and coming down to places like Havant & Waterlooville and travelling here, there and everywhere.

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“We know the benefits (of a good run) but let’s try and put it on the side burner, we are aware of it but let’s try and have some fun.”

A 4-0 win over Holmesdale saw Beckenham go top of the Safety Net Associates Kent Premier Division on Tuesday night and Becks have beaten Littlehampton Town, Thamesmead Town and Norton Sports to reach the Second Qualifying Round.

The Saints also go into the game on the back of a win after picking up their first three points of the season at Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday.

Jean-Michel Sigere’s second half strike was all that separated the two sides and Castle was delighted to see his side break their duck.

“I couldn’t be more pleased,” he said.

“We played the team that were top of the table last week in Bromley and we’ve played the bookies’ favourites in Havant and we’ve got four points out of six.

“We had to grind it out and every one of them have put their shift in and deserved their victory.”

Castle hopes the win will help settle the side down and allow them to develop a more flowing style.

“The more positive results we get, I think the more we can calm down that little bit and maybe just get that final third quality,” he explained.

“If we can get ourselves ahead earlier I think we could just calm ourselves down just that little bit.

“That was a great finish (from Sigere), probably two or three weeks ago we would have missed that.”

The game was marred by three red cards dished out to City’s Adam Everitt and to Havant duo Bobby Hopkinson and Manny Williams and Castle felt none of them could have any complaints.

Hopkinson was dismissed for a crude challenge on Everitt who got his marching orders for retaliating while Williams was dismissed late on for a horrible hack at James Fisher.

“It was a scandalous challenge and Adam should have stayed down and let the referee deal with it,” said Castle.

“There’s an awful lot of qualities that Adam’s got, his aggressiveness and willingness to win the game and he’s lost his head.

“He’s just apologised to me, it could have cost us.”

Speaking of the Williams’ dismissal, the City boss said: “I can understand the lad’s frustrations but I can’t understand a tackle like that. Fish (James Fisher) has just rode the tackle and he hasn’t really hurt himself but both challenges were scandalous.

“Everybody’s trying to get that out of the game and they were quite right to be sent off the both of them.”

Adam Martin will sit out Saturday’s game following his red card at Bromley but Adam Everitt will be available.

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