Gray praises match-winning front line after grounding Concord

Michael Malcolm in action against Concord Rangers. Picture: Leigh Page

Michael Malcolm in action against Concord Rangers. Picture: Leigh Page - Credit: Archant

James Gray praised his match-winning front line after St Albans City dispatched Concord Rangers 2-0 at Clarence Park in the Vanarama Conference South.

After a busy Friday in which the Saints signed Jamal Lowe from Barnet, Michael Malcolm and Manny Soetan, they employed a very attacking starting 11 against Danny Cowley’s Rangers, the team that knocked them out of the FA Cup.

John Frendo was flanked by Malcolm and Lowe with Sam Corcoran sitting just behind the front three. Frendo set up Malcolm, who had an eighth minute goal ruled out, for the first and then converted a penalty, which Lowe won, to double the lead.

“We knew Conord are a tough side to break down but if you can get at them then you can get some goals. We went gung-ho with three boys up top and Corkers in behind making it difficult for them to get out as well as giving us a real good threat,” said joint manager Gray.

“We attacked with the four and said ‘they’ll be our match-winners’, and it’s worked out perfectly for us. They were our match winners and defensively, the six lads behind were solid.”

In the first meeting of the teams, in the FA Cup, Concord won 1-0 as St Albans failed to muster much in the way of chances. It was Rangers’ work rate, though, that really shone through. Matching their energy was the main aim, according to Gray; everything else would take care of itself.

“My challenge to the lads was to match their work rate then there’s no doubt about [the result] because our dressing room has more quality than theirs. But we needed to match their endeavour which we did with plenty to spare,” he said.

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“The boys did a good job. The new additions helped us out; we looked lively, pacey in the first half and caused all sorts of problems. In the end, I felt we were comprehensive winners and could have had a couple more [goals] which would have put a nice gloss on it.”