Frustration for Allinson and St Albans City after ‘cruel’ equaliser

David Noble was St Albans City's man of the match against Harrogate Town. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

David Noble was St Albans City's man of the match against Harrogate Town. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Frustration was the overriding emotion for St Albans City manager Ian Allinson after seeing his side concede a Harrogate Town equaliser with just 25 seconds to go in the FA Trophy.

Tom Bender’s second-half goal put City in front and it seemed as if that would be enough.

But Joe Leesley’s goal deep into stoppage time, which saw City fail to clear their lines, was described as “cruel” by the City boss.

“I felt we had seen the game out really well from when we scored,” he said.

“They put us under massive pressure in terms of the way they were playing, a lot of balls went long.

“But we’ve dealt with it and the only time we haven’t dealt with a ball into the box, we’ve been punished.

“We got into some really good positions in the last 15 minutes but we didn’t get that second goal which would have seen us through and it would have seen us through.

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“But it was cruel with just 30 seconds to go.

“We did really well, weathered their early spell, got into the game playing some lovely stuff and got in front.

“That is when we should have kept our composure, kept the ball and gone on and got a second.

“But we didn’t and we kept putting ourselves under pressure by giving the ball away cheaply and letting them put balls into the box.

“And we’ve succumbed to probably the worst one they’ve put in. We didn’t defend it properly.”

The game itself wasn’t a classic but Saints certainly edge it against similar opponents.

And they will get the chance to lock horns again on Tuesday night at Town’s Wetherby Road ground.

And Allinson is reluctantly looking forward to it

“We cancelled each other out today,” he said. “They nullified our strengths and we nullified their strengths.

“They play on astroturf and I know how we play football and astroturf will suit us,

“It’s going to be a hard game, they get good crowds but we’ll go up positively and try to get into the next round.

“We’re good enough.”

His final word was for the City faithful.

“It would have been nice for our supporters to go through and I’m not saying we’re out of it but we’d have been four games from Wembley, two games from a two-legged semi-final and if you get a home draw, who’s to say you won’t get through into the next round,” he said.

“This town would have come alive then and it would have been nice to sit there tonight waiting for the draw on Monday.

“It gives everyone a lift and our supporters have been great for us this season.”