Howell pleased with Saints’ response

City boss happy after replay victory

ST ALBANS City boss David Howell had nothing but praise for his side after they bounced back from Saturday’s abysmal display in the FA Cup against Berkhamsted with a comfortable victory in the replay.

City were as good on Tuesday night as they were bad on Saturday and goals from Rob Haworth, Ryan Moran and Jerome Walker ensured a safe passage to the next round where the Saints will travel to East Thurrock United.

It was confident and purposeful display from Howell’s Saints and it was the manner of his side’s performance at Broadwater that impressed the Saints boss.

“I’m just pleased we got through and I’m pleased with the performance,” Howell said afterwards.

“I think Saturday was difficult – if you look at the matches on that day, there were some shocks and some surprises and that’s what the FA Cup is about. I think when teams from a lower league play a team from a higher league they raise their game to nine or 10 out of 10 and the higher league team can’t afford to be complacent and that was the case with us.

“If we were playing a team from a higher league we would have been a lot more at the races because if we were as complacent as we were on Saturday we wouldn’t be in the FA Cup. Again I just had to make it clear to the lads, not just after Saturday but again tonight, our complacency brought us here (Berkhamsted).”

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Winger Sean Shields laid on all three goals after being given a reprieve after Danny Hart was ruled out due to a family bereavement. Shields threw his shin pads on the ground in disgust and failed to shake hands with Joackim Ehui after being substituted on Saturday leading Howell to fine Shields a week’s wages but the 19-year-old responded in the right manner.

“I think Sean’s response probably epitomised our performance on Saturday – an absolute joke,” explained Howell.

“We were too complacent and I think we thought we were better than we were.

“Sean was fined a week’s wages but having said that I put him in today – he wasn’t going to start, Danny Hart was going to start but unfortunately his uncle passed away yesterday so he wasn’t in the frame of mind so Sean got a reprieve. I had a chat with him and just said to him don’t overcook it – don’t try to do too much.

“I think the problem with Sean at the weekend wasn’t so much the fact that I’d taken him off - he was frustrated that he didn’t get the ball for long periods and when he did get it he tried to do too much with it and that’s reminiscent of schoolboy football and he’s got to grow up quickly. He’s got so much technical ability and he can go past players.”

Before City travel to East Thurrock in the cup on October 1 they head to the midlands this Saturday to take on Stourbridge, and these are two teams Howell has knowledge of.

“Our focus was just on making sure we got through the cup for the club, the supporters and of course the players because it is going to be enjoyable,” said Howell.

“We travel to East Thurrock next which I know a bit about from their days in the Ryman.

“We had them (Stourbridge) watched against Hemel so we know a bit about them but we’ll start working on them come Thursday.

“At the moment I am just pleased with the way the lads responded and went about a job in a professional manner against a side that was not to be underrated.”

* There is a St Albans City team and supporters coach going to Stourbridge.

The coach will depart at 10:30am from the Clarence Park entrance to the ground. To book a seat call Ian Rogers on 07714 145862 or Barry Hilliard on 07831 859041. The cost is �19 for adults and �12 for juniors.