Mixed feelings for Gray after cup exit

Joint manager James Gray praised Peter Dean's performance. Picture: Bob Walkley

Joint manager James Gray praised Peter Dean's performance. Picture: Bob Walkley - Credit: Archant

St Albans City exited the Herts Charity Cup at the semi-final stage on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 to Hitchin Town at Clarence Park.

Howard Hall opened the scoring with a ‘thunderbolt’ of a free-kick but Michael King bragged a brace to see his side through to the final.

After the game, joint manager James Gray said: “We were a little bit better [than we have been recently] but changed a lot around and gave players minutes who haven’t been playing or back form injury some minutes.

“We had to make a couple of changes after [Elliot] Bailey and [Danny Green] picked up injuries, which didn’t help.

“Still, the performance wasn’t great. I didn’t expect us to come out firing because some of the lads’ heads are down and they’re low on confidence.

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He added: “There were a few positives, though. Chris Watters got 90 minutes in him, Howard got 90 minutes and David Keenleyside had a spell out there. Peter Dean worked his socks off and put and shift in.

“There are a few positives but overall the performance wasn’t great; we’re short on confidence.”

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He admitted he was hoping a good performance on Saturday at Bashley could springboard City back into form.

“I don’t want this [form] to linger on,” said Gray.

“We’re doing well, we’re third in the league, attendances are up, we had good cup runs so want it to fizzle out because of pressure. We need to take that pressure off and be invigorated for Saturday.

A good performace at Bashley will set us up for the rest of the season.”

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