Clarke returns

PUBLISHED: 10:10 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:48 06 May 2010

SAINTS fans will have been delighted to see Lee Clarke returning to first-team action on Saturday as he continues to work his way back to full fitness following a knee injury. Clarke came off the bench and looked impressive in midfield playing a starring

SAINTS fans will have been delighted to see Lee Clarke returning to first-team action on Saturday as he continues to work his way back to full fitness following a knee injury.

Clarke came off the bench and looked impressive in midfield playing a starring role in setting up Gary Cohen for City's equaliser.

Speaking after the game, the 2004/05 Player of the Season, said: "It's frustrating watching. I've been out six or seven weeks now and it's still not perfect. It probably won't be perfect until an operation's been done on it. I'm sort of nursing it through. I've trained all through this week with minimal discomfort, gearing for me really to be involved today.

"It's a shame the result was a little bit different but it was nice to get out there and now I just need to work on my fitness and sort of strengthen my leg and hope I can get through until the operation is needed."

Clarke echoed the thoughts of his manager regarding Saturday's result and believes the team gave a good account of themselves. "If you watched the game I don't think you'll believe it was a 4-1 result. I think we feel a little aggrieved about being on the end of a 4-1 defeat but that's cup football. You can't sit back or you're out of the cup, so we went for it and we were caught by, to be fair, two very good counter-attacking goals. We sort of limited them to crosses really but then you look at the score and you see 4-1 that probably tells the difference in the leagues.

"It's disappointing because I thought we still had chances at 2-1, even at 3-1 we had two or three chances and like I say to be on the end of a 4-1 is not nice but I thought we held our own."

Clarke is hoping that there aren't any complications with his knee during the week and that he can be involved in Saturday's clash with Havant & Waterlooville. "I'll be able to play through 90 minutes. It's just my match fitness at the minute. My knee is sore, I'm not going to lie. It's sore the day after games and after training and things but it's strong enough to get through games.

"The lads have done well up until the last couple of games. I wouldn't have expected to start at all today but it's nice to get out there and now push on again with another week of training and hopefully get myself in the reckoning for next week."

l CHRIS Seeby and Lee Clarke played a full 90 minutes for St Albans Reserves on Monday night as they continue on the road to recovery following injury.

The duo were powerless to stop top-of-the-table Staines recording a 2-0 win at Clarence Park as City slipped to fourth place. Simon Martin and Scott Cousins were also named in the strong Saints line up and new signing Rob Nicholls, who is on work experience from Brentford, was given his first run out.

St Albans City Reserves: Palmer, Grinham (Lamonaca 46), Cousins, Seeby, Munday, Clarke, Mortimer, Nicholls, S.Martin, Effiong (James 61), Olcot (Ai Byfield 72), Subs; Pascoal, Hurrell.

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