Noble deeds reignite play-off hopes for St Albans City

David Noble's performance drew praise after St Albans City beat Hungerford Town in National League South.

David Noble's performance drew praise after St Albans City beat Hungerford Town in National League South. - Credit: GAVIN ELLIS/TGS PHOTO

A pair of first-time scorers helped put St Albans City's National League South play-off hopes back on course but the praise went to their oldest player.

Bayley Brown put Saints in front at Hungerford Town with a screamer from distance before Callum Adebiyi wrapped up a 2-0 win with a glancing header.

It ended a run of five straight defeats and seven without a win, lifting Ian Allinson's men back up to seventh in the table and in the final play-off place.

But both assistant manager Chris Winton and goal hero Brown said the presence of 40-year-old David Noble was a big boost to the side.

Winton said: "When midfield players can slow it down and speed it up like he does, you know you are onto a winner. 

"His pedigree suggests that but with the free-kicks we spoke about putting a little more pace on the ball and he certainly did that for the second goal. It just needed a glancing touch from Callum.

"[Noble] is fantastic, great to have around the dressing room and he’ll go on to be a great coach or manager when it is his time to do that."

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Brown said playing alongside the former Exeter City man was a "pleasure".

"He is always trying to help us in any way he can," said the scorer.

"Everyone knows he is a quality player so I just have to learn from him and take the smallest bits out of his game and trying to implement it into my own. 

"We all get a buzz when David Noble plays."

The midfield maestro has also been helping out with training in the run-in to the match at Bulpit Lane, with Winton saying the game plan was carried out perfectly.

Allinson's assistant said: "Hungerford have done really well so far this season and we knew coming here was going to be a tough game. 

"We had to have a game plan and we have had a full pitch to work on both Tuesday and Thursday. We set up to be hard to beat. 

"You can’t really get it down and play here, you have to play in certain areas and it wasn’t a day for glamorous football that we had at the start of the season. 

"What people don’t see is the blood, sweat and tears that go into training when we don’t win or haven’t quite got results. 

"What was good to see was the raw emotion of the boys [after the last-minute defeat to Maidstone last time out], what it took out of them. 

"Ian and I took a lot of heart from that. It shows how much they care and how much they want it. 

"We had to keep working hard and we were rewarded with fruits of our labour."

Saints host Chelmsford City on Good Friday with a trip to Hampton & Richmond Borough on Easter Monday.