Castle looks for super show
PUBLISHED: 12:35 28 February 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010
ST Albans City have defensive problems as they prepare for the vital trip to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday. Boss Steve Castle is without James Quilter who starts a three match ban for his red card at Eastbourne Borough and big defender Ben Martin is a sli
ST Albans City have defensive problems as they prepare for the vital trip to Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.
Boss Steve Castle is without James Quilter who starts a three match ban for his red card at Eastbourne Borough and big defender Ben Martin is a slight doubt with the hamstring injury that forced him off against Bath City. Former Stevenage man Hasim Deen was not available for Bath and missed training on Tuesday due to personal problems.
Defenders Marcel McKie and Reiss Noel played in the reserves on Wednesday and former Premier League forward Jonathan Hunt also made his first appearance for the club since signing recently. Hunt played 70 minutes of the clash and could now be involved in the squad on Saturday.
Saints have again slipped to the bottom of the Blue Square South after winning just once in 10 league games since Castle was placed in charge. They had looked set for only their third home league win of the campaign when Paul Hakim gave them a half time lead, only for catastrophic defending to prove costly again.
The equaliser for Bath City came within 40 seconds of the restart following half time as and Castle said: "It was a calamity of errors. Sunday didn't hold the ball up. That doesn't normally come to anything but Dean Cracknell cannot help the ball on and they can help the ball on. I think one of the defenders is trying to play offside and one isn't. This is the quietest team I have ever been involved in."
The visitors then sealed the win with just three minutes to go. Midfielder Justin McKay delivered a simple corner and, after three failed clearance attempts from City, Bath substitute Darren Edwards forced the ball over the line.
In the first half, Saints battled well and were deservedly ahead thanks to a drilled finish from Paul Hakim, who enjoyed a promising partnership with full debutant Wasiu Akanni Sunday. The pair caused problems for the Bath City defence and Castle has high hopes for the duo. He said: "It could be a good partnership. At this moment in time, it is Paul Hakim and A.N. Other. Sunday did well first half but he probably petered out just slightly. I hope we can get him fit because he could be something that we haven't got. He is a man and he has got blistering pace."
Saints are 10 points behind Weston, having played three games more and remain four points off the safety zone. Castle is still hoping that wins in the matches at Weston, Bognor Regis Town and Welling United will save his side. He said: "My opinion is that it will go to the wire. We play Welling United, WSM and Bognor Regis Town. That is nine points and it is getting to the stage that they are going to be must win games. We now have 11 cup finals to play.