Ian Allinson taking ‘massive positives’ from St Albans City’s ‘outstanding’ Hemel performance

Lee Allinson, Harry Wheeler and Ian Allinson on the Saints bench. Picture: LEIGH PAGE

Lee Allinson, Harry Wheeler and Ian Allinson on the Saints bench. Picture: LEIGH PAGE - Credit: Archant

St Albans City manager Ian Allinson was taking the positives out of the 2-2 draw with Hemel Hempstead – despite the last minute equaliser feeling like a defeat.

Saints had raced into a two-goal lead before Hemel fought back with 20 minutes to go.

However, the point takes City out of the relegation zone with three games remaining, and that, along with the performance, was enough to keep Allinson happy.

He said: “I felt the players were outstanding. It feels like a defeat but we have to take massive positives about the way we’ve come to a team who is fifth in the league, played some really good football and defended for our lives.

“They’ve put in a fantastic performance and I’m just gutted for them because they deserve it.

“It did look like we’d weathered the storm in the last few minutes. But really I’ve got to take the positives.

“Even though they came back in the last 20 minutes, overall I thought that was one of our best performances since I’ve been here.

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“I felt we controlled the game for long periods and passed the ball well.

“That was the first time we’ve had to change the shape for a while [with Ben Martin and Charlie MacDonald’s injury] but I felt everyone did their jobs fantastically well and it’s just a shame.

“We got the second and looked like we could have got a third or fourth.”

The Saints’ boss is confident the squad can respond positively to the disappointment and paid tribute to the club’s ‘12th man’.

He said: “We’ve still tried to get the winner in the 93rd minute which is what we’ve tried to do all season.

“Nobody has given up in there including the players, myself, the staff and supporters.

“I have to pay credit to the supporters because they were fantastic for us.

“Even when it went to 2-2 they kept going and going. They could have been despondent but it would have been nice to give them three points.”

One player who was brought in because of the injuries was James Kaloczi, starting his second spell with the club while on dual-registration from Dunstable Town.

“Watching Hemel over the last few weeks it looked like Olly Thorne was the one they targeted in the middle of the park,” said Allinson.

“So it was a simple decision for me to put James in there. And I thought he did brilliantly.

“It was a positive having him in there, he’s a big player and hopefully he will be great for us in the last three games.”