Castle pleased with effort

PUBLISHED: 09:57 31 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle was disappointed by the reaction of the Hampton & Richmond players saying that he felt they played a huge part in Gary Cohen s dismissal. Castle said; Both feet got off the ground and by the law of the game now it is a se

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle was disappointed by the reaction of the Hampton & Richmond players saying that he felt they played a huge part in Gary Cohen's dismissal.

Castle said; "Both feet got off the ground and by the law of the game now it is a sending off. It happened very quickly and I think he got the ball. Overall I think it was Hampton's reaction that ultimately made the decision for the officials. By all accounts it wasn't the referee who had the commanding decision, it was the linesman this side that had the Hampton squad right in his ear.

"Now I know why Arsene Wenger says he didn't see it because it's one of them. I think the decision got masked a bit by their [Hampton's] reaction. Whether it was a sending off, whether it was a booking, I really wouldn't like to judge what is in my mind at this moment in time."

The Saints boss was delighted with how his side reacted after Cohen's dismissal and said there were plenty of positives to take from the game, particularly Paul Hakim's return to form and James Fisher's showing in an unusual midfield role: "We showed an awful lot of fight there. There are massive plus points. I think Paul Hakim, that was the best game I've seen him play in a long time. James Fisher, to be honest with you I think the lad as a utility player could play a lot higher if not in just one position alone because he's just completely excelled in that midfield spot. Against a team that's obviously got into the play-off finals last year it shows us that we can compete with near enough everybody in this league. It was an even contest and had it stayed at eleven who knows?"

Speaking after last week's defeat at Havant, Castle said he wanted his side to get more crosses into the box and they did just that this week, scoring twice following crosses, much to the manager's delight. "Jonathan Hunt delivered a great ball for the first goal and for the second goal Scotty Cousins forced the error out of their player. For me we've lacked that and if we can increase our quota from both sides I think we're made up for more goals."

The City boss was disappointed with how much space the Hampton strikers had for their goals but didn't want that to take away from a good team performance: "If I'm looking at the bigger picture, I'm looking at nine outfield players who are quite fatigued. It wasn't good. It was good movement by their lads and yes, we've let them back in but I've glossed over that just slightly. Unfortunately, when you get tired mistakes do happen and they did run off them but it was very good movement by the front lads that caused us problems."

St Albans are now half way through the current campaign and Steve Castle admits it's been a weird first half, seeing his side take a maximum 21 points from their seven game winning streak and just ten from the other 14 games. "We've really applied ourselves reasonably well throughout the season. We were a very hard team to beat [during the run] in as much as we weren't conceding goals, we've just taken our foot of the pedal with that one a little bit and teams are opening us up a bit. We've got to work on that because I think with the nucleus and the goalkeeper we've got we shouldn't be conceding that many and we need to get back on that. Perhaps James Fisher could be looked at as a midfield player because there's a big void there with Luke Thurlbourne if I'm honest and we need to try and fill that void and move onwards and upwards.


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