Keep the faith - Castle

City boss urges his players to keep the faith after derby defeat

ST ALBANS City boss Steve Castle says his side need to “keep the faith” after seeing them slip to a disappointing 4-1 home defeat by Hertfordshire rivals Bishop’s Stortford.

Dave Deeney’s first goal for the club had put the Saints ahead at Clarence Park but the visitors equalised on the half hour mark before three goals in the final 15 minutes ensured all three points headed back to Woodside Park.

The result was the worst possible preparation for City ahead of this Saturday’s big FA Cup clash with Kingstonian who are level on points with Ryman Premier Division leaders Lowestoft Town.

“It’s a very tough game and it’s vital that we put a performance on,” said Castle of the Kingstonian clash.

“It would be nice if we could get some free flowing football and entertain. At the end of the day we’re all here to enjoy things and the spectators are here to watch good flowing football and it’s frustrating these lads, it’s frustrating for me and it’s frustrating for the spectators.

“We’ve just got to keep the faith, go into the Kingstonian game, hopefully get ourselves in front, get everything on target and follow things in and hopefully we can get a positive result.”

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Castle said he had no qualms about the Stortford scoreline and says his team will continue to lose out if they don’t put games to bed.

“Fair play to Bishop’s Stortford, they didn’t have a massive amount of chances but every single one of them was on target and they’ve ended up with a 4-1 scoreline,” said the City boss.

“I’ve got no complaints. Possession-wise we’ve had the lion share… but if you don’t put games to bed when you’re in front then you’re always liable to concede at the back.”

The City attack had a cosmopolitan flavour to it against Stortford with young Spanish striker Pelayo Gomez given his first start, alongside French forward Jean-Michel Sigere but Castle admitted the pair failed to make an impact on the game.

“We’ve got a centre forward in Jean-Michel Sigere who’s tried to give as much as he can and probably run out of steam,” explained Castle.

“And a player in Pelayo Gomez who’s found out quite quickly what first team football is all about. He’s a brilliant prospect and we’d like to persevere with him.

“We’ve changed things a little bit and threw Mark Peters up front which isn’t ideal. We’ve certainly run out of players and obviously threw Ben Martin in a week before his time and he was a bit rusty.”

* Pete Smith has won the Harpenden Construction Ltd Player of the Month award for September.

Smith will collect the award prior to Saturday’s game with Kingstonian from City fan Ron Thoms.

Should Saturday’s game go to a replay it will take place at Kingsmeadow on Monday night.

* In a Corporate Day organised by David Wray, on behalf of St Albans City Youth, over 40 staff from Deloitte, the business advisory firm, joined forces with students from Oaklands College and coaches from St Albans City Youth to give St Albans City’s Clarence Park home a face lift.

This was one of three Community Day projects where Deloitte Staff were given a working day to contribute to community projects.

The tasks involved painting, weeding and cleaning many parts of the ground and despite the unkind weather, all the tasks were completed on time.

Project Manager Sam Crafts from St Albans City Youth said: “It was great to have so many different people from our community working together.

“Our Special Needs coaches were particularly pleased to be involved.”

Paul Schofield, partner in charge at Deloitte St Albans said: “We take seriously our commitment to giving something back to our local communities.

“We are delighted to be able support this important project, and it was very encouraging to see the difference that the team made in just one day.”