I still believe - Allinson defiant on St Albans City’s play-off hopes

Zane Banton pulls St Albans City level in the first half against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Picture

Zane Banton pulls St Albans City level in the first half against Hampton & Richmond Borough. Picture: BOB WALKLEY - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson says he still believes St Albans City can make the Vanarama National League South play-offs despite a 3-1 defeat to Hampton & Richmond Borough.

City are now seventh, level on points on with Truro City and Braintree Town, but both of their rivals have a game in hand.

It means that even a win next Saturday at Bath City, somewhere Saints have never scored at, never mind won at, may not be good enough.

However, the City boss is still keeping positive.

He said: “Unfortunately some of players didn’t hit their levels today and in football you can’t afford to carry players.

“And I felt today we carried players. I’m not going to name names but two or three didn’t reach the heights they’d done in the previous 40 games.

“But we have to wipe ourselves down. We gave it a good go, it wasn’t good enough on the day and hasn’t been good enough over the last few weeks but its still all too play for.

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“I think if we go to Bath and win we’ll be in the play-offs; that’s what I’ve told the players.

“That’s what we’ve got to believe.”

The defeat to Hampton left a large crowd disappointed and the Saints manager felt credit needed to go to the visitors.

He said: “They nullified a lot of what our strengths have been this season.

“I felt they worked extremely hard but it comes down to naivety on our part.

“I think we’ve got to learn massively over the summer in terms of things we do or try to do.

“And we got caught with sucker punches.

“We’d spoke at length about players having certain jobs, like stopping Wassmer getting free headers which he’s done for the first goal.

“But then we got back to 1-1 and were totally on the front foot and looking like we could get something and we’ve been done by a counter attack where we haven’t defended properly and people haven’t done their jobs properly.

“The difference was our naivety and their willingness to work and out us under massive pressure.”

And Allinson was in no doubt what the key momoent was – Hampton’s second goal right on half-time.

“We failed to defend from the edge of their box and after working so hard to get back into it after conceding so early and working on getting the crowd back into it, it would have been nice to gone in at 1-1 even,” he added.

“But we’ve succumbed to our own downfall by not being bright enough and by not doing the right things at the right time and we’ve been caught on a counter attack and a sucker punch.

“Then we’ve got to go and chase the game.

“I thought second half we did alright, I thought we played some good stuff but full credit to them, they really did work hard.”