Castle believes his side can cause an upset

PUBLISHED: 09:28 03 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:44 06 May 2010

Steve Castle.

Steve Castle.

STEVE Castle believes his side can shock teams in the Blue Square South if they perform for 90 minutes. The City boss said there were positives to be taken by the Saints first half display against Basingstoke Town on Tuesday night but he admitted to bein

STEVE Castle believes his side can shock teams in the Blue Square South if they perform for 90 minutes.

The City boss said there were positives to be taken by the Saints' first half display against Basingstoke Town on Tuesday night but he admitted to being frustrated by his side's showing after the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

"In the first half especially there was some good play that got our noses in front," said Castle afterwards.

"It was a sending off, so they've obviously gone down to 10 players and yet again we've stopped playing.

"Why I do not know - I think they want me to get myself in hospital with a heart attack, but we do make hard work of it.

"It's a rollercoaster season, it would have been great if we kept that free-flowing football and got ourselves ahead earlier in the game but we've made hard work of it.

"I just want some positive play for 90 minutes and I think we could really shock a few teams."

Peter Smith received the plaudits for his swashbuckling display at left back and Castle believes the recent acquisition was fully deserving of the Man of the Match award.

"I think Pete Smith was absolutely awesome and deserved quite rightly to get his Man of the Match.

"Godfrey Poku, his energy is endless and I thought Solomon (Shields) in the first half was back to his best and I said to them two, as an ex-midfield player, I certainly wouldn't want to be up against those two week in week out."

Referee Ian Rathbone was a central figure in Tuesday night's game, sending off Basingstoke's Steve Laidler but not showing red cards to either visiting goalkeeper Craig Atkinson or City's James Quilter when both denied goalscoring opportunities.

"I think these officials do like to even things up," said Castle.

"I think it would've been very, very harsh had James gone and their goalkeeper hadn't so I think he made a rod for his own back by not sending their goalkeeper off. Had he done so, maybe James would've gone.

"I'm not one for getting people sent off, the lad who did get sent off was reckless, he went in for a challenge when he knew he was on a booking so there's a little bit of fault for him there."

Castle changed things around for Basingstoke's visit sticking with Lamine Sagna up front and replacing Jonathan O'Donnell on the left wing with Gary Cohen, who marked his recall with a great finish to settle the game.

"He's (Cohen) taken it great. He's got the penalty and he works his socks off for the team.

"We've tried a different formation, obviously Lamine has got to get used to this level and fast.

"We started off with Gary, through no fault of Jonathan O'Donnell. He's a young lad who's come into men's football and it's my job that we make sure we take care of him. He'll be in the team and the biggest credit I can give JJ is that he is a first team player."

Chelmsford City, who include former City favourite Ben Martin in their ranks, are up next at Clarence Park.

"For the budget that they've got, they're massively under-achieving," explained Castle.

"For us to take them on and compete would be great. They'll be a tough team, they got the better of us last year and really edged the game we played at their place."

Peter Smith capped an impressive first month with the club by scooping the Harpenden Construction Ltd. Player of the Month award for November.

Smith will receive his award before Saturday's game.


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