National League South: Ian Allinson blasts St Albans City players after Hampton & Richmond Borough loss

St Albans City V Hungerford Town - St Albans City manager Ian Allinson.
Picture: Karyn Haddon

St Albans City V Hungerford Town - St Albans City manager Ian Allinson. Picture: Karyn Haddon - Credit: Archant

It was almost 30 minutes after the final whistle blew on St Albans City’s 3-2 defeat to Hampton & Richmond Borough at Clarence Park that the door to the home dressing room finally open and a weary-looking Ian Allinson emerged to face the press.

That in itself told a story.

Saints had taken the lead in Tuesday night’s Vanarama National League encounter through Ben Wyatt before Hampton came back.

A Sam Merson penalty levelled things up once again but Chris Dickson’s header midway through the second period consigned the hosts to a 3-2 loss, the third time in the opening four league games City have been involved in a game with that score.

This was the first time they had ended on the wrong side of it though and although the result left a bitter taste in the mouth for Allinson, it was the manner of the performance that really stuck in his throat.

He said: “Usually in the last 15, 20 minutes we get a bit of momentum with throw-ins and corners and we put teams under a lot of pressure.

“But they managed the game well from the minute the third goal went in.

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“I felt we had a lot of momentum at 2-2. We’d worked hard to get back into the game, thrown a little bit of caution to the wind with three up front, but were really on top.

“But that when we give an absolutely pathetic goal away which was crazy considering how hard we worked to get back into it.

“I want to try and stick to my principles this year in what we are doing but it’s very difficult at the moment because we’ve conceded so many goals in the first four games.

“Yes we’re scoring goals but it’s not nice when you’re on the end of it.

“And we should be better than that.

“We’ve got to seriously look at what shape we have and what personnel we play at the moment because defensively, and that starts at the front, we haven’t been good enough.”

St Albans have now scored nine and conceded nine in their first four games and after a busy start to the year Allinson and his assistant Glen Alzapiedi can finally get a hold of their charges in training, something the City boss says is desperately needed.

He said: “We seemed to struggle to pass the ball and had no fluency in terms of moving it quickly or giving the forwards a chance to get on the end of opportunities.

“We had a spell in the first half after we scored where we could have got a second or third and killed the game.

“But we didn’t and we went in at half-time a little disappointed.

“We’ve just spoke there about working on shape from the defensive side of it and also on the times when we do get good possession.

“We gave the ball away cheaply in those last 20 minutes and became a team of individuals. That’s a bit of a worry.

“But we’ve got this Thursday and then Tuesday and Thursday next week where we’ve got to work on when we have the ball, when we haven’t and when we play.”

Another disappointment for Allinson was the lack of leaders on the pitch and he says they may have to look at changing things around much earlier than expected or wanted.

He said: “I think a few people have got to take responsibility and I didn’t see it tonight.

“In those last 15 minutes there were a lot of people looking for help. We can obviously help them from the side but you need some leaders on the pitch and we didn’t have that in those last 20 minutes.

“We go into September where it is just Saturday games, if we avoid FA Cup replays, so then we can look at the training, look at the players we’ve got and do we need to change one or two.

“And we may have to do that because they might not be good enough for what we’re trying to do this year.

“We’ll have to take stock on that side of it but we have to improve defensively.”