Ian Allinson relieved with St Albans City’s progress to the FA Cup first round

Ian and Lee Allinson bark out the orders. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Ian and Lee Allinson bark out the orders. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

Ian Allinson was naturally pleased with St Albans City’s progress to the first round proper of the FA Cup – but was disappointed with the manner of it.

The Saints will play in the first round, alongside the likes of Sheffield United, Charlton Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, after a 1-0 away to Egham Town on Saturday.

Sam Merson got the goal in the first half but he was among a few who missed good chances to finish off their Southern League Division One Central hosts.

The St Albans boss said: “Because of the way we snatched at chances and lost our composure in the final third, we should have put the game to bed in the first half.

“We started really well; we were bright, sharp and if we’d been 5-0 after 30 minutes it would have been fair.

“Full credit to them, they kept sticking in and as I said to the players at half time, if you don’t take your chances then 1-0 is a funny score.

“And apart from two really good saves from James Russell in the second half, they could have nicked something.”

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Allinson felt complacency had crept into the play of some of his team after a bright opening

He said: “We had four or five take their foot off the pedal after 30 minutes.

“I thought the front four didn’t work hard enough. They didn’t do their jobs properly, we lost our shape, our discipline and it put the back four under huge pressure.

“Egham came out and put us under pressure in certain areas. I felt that first 25 minutes got into people’s heads and we thought we didn’t have to do much.

“And in football, if you switch off, that’s a quick way of learning the hard way and we’ve scraped through in the end.”

His final thoughts though were for the 100 plus travelling supporters who helped swell the crowd to 327.

“They were absolutely magnificent,” said Allinson. “For them to travel here, I know it wasn’t that far, but the noise they made was magnificent.

“It would be nice to give them a home tie. It would be nice for them to come out in numbers.

“When the club played Mansfield a few years ago, it showed that the town will turn out.

“Hopefully we’ll get a good draw and make it a great day for the club.”